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Productivity: Standards

Question for Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

UIN 26507, tabled on 9 February 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what assessment he has made of the performance against its aims of the Government's productivity plan, entitled Fixing the foundations: Creating a more prosperous nation, published in July 2015.

Answered on

22 February 2016

Productivity growth is a key economic challenge for this Parliament. Productivity, measured as output per hour worked, grew by 1.3% in the third quarter of 2015 compared to a year earlier.

We are now in the process of implementing the Productivity Plan, with Ministers and officials overseeing delivery through cross-Whitehall boards and Cabinet Committees. We are making good progress, specifically:

  • The rate and scope of the Apprenticeships Levy has been confirmed, bringing us closer to a sustainable funding system to boost skills and put employers in the driving seat.
  • The Cutting Red Tape Programme aims to cut at least £10 billion of unnecessary regulation.
  • The Housing and Planning Bill, now awaiting its Committee stage in the House of Lords, was introduced to boost house building and accelerate planning decisions.
  • New devolution deals have been signed with Sheffield, the North East, Tees Valley, Liverpool and West Midlands.
  • Proposals have been made to increase the quality of teaching and student choice in higher education.
  • The Productivity Leadership Group, chaired by Sir Charlie Mayfield, is progressing well and will report in the summer.
  • We have continued to protect the science budget in real terms to the end of the Parliament, and are protecting in cash terms the funding through Innovate UK.

Answered by

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
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