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.
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.