‘Box Notes’ are short briefings included in a Minister’s red box, to bring them up to speed on a developing issue.
I’m writing to brief you on the conclusions of our latest policy enquiry into
Workers and Families. There’s more detail in the summary attached to this
box note on the CPF website and, as always, a more detailed private version has gone to #10 Downing Street as well. We will also be holding our usual follow-up round table discussion with #10 policy staff or Cabinet Ministers to develop some of these ideas further.
This report has three key conclusions about the wisdom and beliefs of the Conservative Crowd (the report has contributions from both Party members and supportive non-members too) for you to note:
1. We are still a small-state party at heart. We don’t begrudge the enormous short-term emergency pandemic support for families and employers, but we don’t want it to lead to a permanent reset of Britain’s culture away from individuals, families and employers taking responsibility for themselves and towards dependency on taxpayer funds or – even worse – a sense of entitlement to them instead.
2. That said, we are fans of long-term, structural changes which sweep away barriers to work and success. Unaffordable or hard-to-find childcare for working families; benefit thresholds and withdrawal rates that blunt work incentives; and expensive transport are the main villains that we want to see changed.
3. We are almost Germanic in our support for in-work technical and vocational training and career development. We want to see better, broader opportunities for talented, practical people who don’t suit the well-understood but narrow academic university-degree route to success.
Best wishes & stay safe
John Penrose MP
Conservative Policy Forum Chair