Saturday, 13 October 2012

Regional Growth Fund: A wasted opportunity?

Dragons’ Den star Theo Paphitis was short on sympathy recently for the Government's economic plight making the case that it was much of there own making. He said;
"It’s easy to cut costs, any halfwit can do that, but they’ve not stimulated the economy, or jobs, or growth. They have let themselves down by jumping on the PR band- wagon. Everything is about spin. There is too much of that and not enough substance.”
As unemployment remains high particularly in the regions, borrowing going up, not down and an economy stuck in a double dip recession made in Downing Street what of flagship schemes like the Regional Growth Fund that the government banked on getting the economy moving.

The RGF appears to be the latest failure in the ever-increasing list of failed attempts to support industry. Evidence suggests it has cost the taxpayer up to £200,000 for some of the jobs it created.

For a Government that claims to want fiscal restraint, that seems like a waste of public money. The Public Accounts Committee recently reported  that the RGF “set a far too low threshold for value for money”, without any means of judging its own success, and with almost no coordination with other bodies aimed at rebalancing the economy.