New money matched with new targets

The Chancellor’s generous promise of £61bn of
investment in public services over the next three years comes with
strings attached, in the form of a new round of departmental Public
Service Agreements.

Announcing the outcome of the government’s third
Comprehensive Spending Review in the House of Commons yesterday,
Gordon Brown insisted that the new money had to be matched with
reform and results.

As well as the creation of the new health and social care
inspectorates, a new single housing inspectorate and a new criminal
justice system inspection regime, 130 new PSA targets have been
agreed across Whitehall.

For the Department of Health, these include improving access to
mental health services for adults and children, ensuring a greater
percentage of older people are supported intensively at home,
reducing the number of children in care convicted or cautioned, and
increasing the participation of problem drug users in drug
treatment programmes.

The Home Office’s targets include reducing reoffending
among young offenders by 5 per cent, ensuring that three-quarters
of substantive asylum applications are decided within two months
and that a greater number of failed asylum seekers are removed, and
bringing about measurable improvements in race equality and
community cohesion.

A reduction in truancy levels remains a key target for the
Department of Education and Skills

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