Hammond moves to Treasury as May puts together new government

14 Jul 16

Philip Hammond has replaced George Osborne as chancellor as Theresa May undertakes a government reshuffle after being confirmed as prime minister.

In the first stages of ministerial changes announced yesterday, it was announced that Osborne would leave the government. Hammond has moved from the foreign office, where he has been replaced by the former mayor of London Boris Johnson.

Two new cabinet posts have been created as part of the reshuffle to reflect the impact of the UK’s vote to leave the European Union – David Davis has been named secretary of state for exiting the European Union, and Liam Fox named international trade secretary. Other appointments announced so far a promotion to home secretary for Amber Rudd, while Michael Fallon stays on as defence secretary.

Setting out her agenda for government yesterday, May said she believed in a union between all the UK’s citizens.

“That means fighting against the burning injustice that, if you’re born poor, you will die on average 9 years earlier than others.

“If you’re black, you’re treated more harshly by the criminal justice system than if you’re white. If you’re a white, working-class boy, you’re less likely than anybody else in Britain to go to university. If you’re at a state school, you’re less likely to reach the top professions than if you’re educated privately.

“If you’re a woman, you will earn less than a man. If you suffer from mental health problems, there’s not enough help to hand. If you’re young, you’ll find it harder than ever before to own your own home.” Britain should be a country that works for everyone, May stated.

“Following the referendum, we face a time of great national change.

“And I know because we’re Great Britain, that we will rise to the challenge. As we leave the European Union, we will forge a bold new positive role for ourselves in the world, and we will make Britain a country that works not for a privileged few, but for every one of us.

“That will be the mission of the government I lead, and together we will build a better Britain.”

In a statement issued at CIPFA conference in Manchester, the institute’s chief executive Rob Whiteman, who worked with May at the Home Office, welcomed her appointment as prime minister.

“As I know form my own direct experience, she is a politician of sound judgement, great integrity and has the foresight needed for the many challenges she faces.”

He set out six priorities in order to use public money to boost economic growth and improve people’s lives. These include additional NHS funding as well as renewed focus on tackling inefficiencies in order to address the £10bn black hole in NHS finances that CIPFA has identified.

Whiteman also called for reform of the Treasury in order to make it a ministry of finance as much as it is one for economics. This should be linked to greater transparency and accountability so the public has greater access to the financial options considered, as well as a greater focus on medium term financial planning.

Devolution should be accelerated to give new regional mayors wider taxation and borrowing powers to drive innovation, as well as powers for combined authority mayors to reorganise local government.

Local authorities should also be freed to build hundreds of thousands of new homes through prudential borrowing as well as investing in disadvantaged communities by switching a prescribed amount of public resources to prevention and early intervention.

May was also urged to maintain British commitment to international development, which CIPFA stated would reduce pressures on migration whilst government seeks to strengthen border control.

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