Downing Street is very keen to emphasise that the key theme of this reshuffle is ‘implementation’. It’s an exciting word, I know, but the excitement has just ratcheted up a notch with the creation of a new sub-committee called the Growth Implementation Committee.
The GIC will sit under the economic affairs committee and will be chaired by the Chancellor (who also chairs the economic affairs committee). His deputy chair will be Vince Cable, which the Business Secretary will probably not appreciate, except when the Chancellor is away and he is able to take over. It will also include some of the faces of the reshuffle: David Laws will be a member, as will Ken Clarke in his new roving economic brief in the Cabinet Office. Oliver Letwin and Danny Alexander are also confirmed members, while other ministers leading on key growth areas such as housing, infrastructure and deregulation are also expected to attend.
The whole point of this committee, apart from the obvious joy that any new committee can bring to the life of a minister, is to ensure that the measures that have already been introduced are now being implemented properly. When the Prime Minister’s spokesman explained the reason for the GIC at lobby this morning, he named reforms such as planning which had already been implemented. Of course, those with a keen eye on the government’s economic prowess will point out that there’s a lot more still to do in terms of deregulation, planning reform and aviation policy. The committee will presumably not discuss any new reforms, given its focus on implementation, which makes it even less exciting than it sounds. Let’s hope Ken Clarke doesn’t fall asleep.