Commons to look at BIS and the growth strategy next week

Posted on January 28, 2011 by


The Commons have an opposition day coming up on Wednesday next week, 2 February; a day where Labour gets to decide what’s under discussion in the Commons chamber.

They are planning to look at the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, in particular it’s growth strategy and the Growth White Paper. Life sciences is part of the growth strategy – remember the growth review that was launched at the end of November by the Treasury and BIS (see my previous blog here). The second section of this strategy set out the government’s plan to have an ongoing review of growth – requiring all government departments to demonstrate the action they are taking to support growth. Healthcare and life sciences is one of the six sectors the Government intends to begin looking at; continuing throughout the rest of this parliament with the plan being to keep the government’s agenda focused on growth throughout.

This is the motion for the debate next week:


Edward Miliband

Mr John Denham

Ed Balls

Caroline Flint

Ian Lucas

Ms Rosie Winterton

That this House notes that the Business Secretary in June 2010 called the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) the department of growth; believes that the overriding priority is growth and jobs; expresses deep concern that after nine months BIS has failed to deliver this promise on growth, that the Growth White Paper is still not published, that the dismantling of regional development agencies is ‘chaotic’, that local enterprise partnerships lack powers and resources, and that regional development funding is slashed and grants for business investment abolished, causing oversubscription to the Regional Growth Fund; regrets the refusal of the Sheffield Forgemasters’ loan; notes with concern that responsibility for the digital economy has been transferred to another department without consultation with business or rationale, that there has been no progress in securing lending to small businesses, while bank taxes have been cut, and that BIS failed to persuade departments not to change planning policies and public services which damage jobs and growth; further notes the sharp reductions in adult training, that there is no longer a 10-year science funding strategy, and that BIS is prioritising unfair and damaging reforms to universities instead of enabling them to support growth; notes the lack of strategy or leadership for key sectors vital to rebalancing the economy; shares the CBI Director General’s concern that the government has no plan for growth and that BIS is a ‘talking shop’; and calls on the Government to take decisive action to remedy the deficiencies in BIS.

Posted in: Policy