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ConLibs issue orangey blueprint for government

High on hopes, low on facts

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The coalition government has issued its "wish list" - a combination of the hopes expressed in both parties' manifestos.

The document lacks actual targets which might be missed - but presumably we'll get something containing more actual facts and figures with the budget on 22 June.

So instead we get aspirations like "We will aim to reduce Ministry of Defence running costs by at least 25 per cent".

The promise to review IR35 - so hated by self-employed IT consultants - as part of a wider review of small business tax is still there. There is "an aspiration that 25 per cent of government contracts should be awarded to small and medium-sized businesses".

The Tory-Lib government will consider using BBC licence fee cash to support the extension of broadband networks, if necessary.

The document also promises a statutory register of lobbyists to improve government transparency. In the same vein, government ICT contracts will be published online.

"We will require full, online disclosure of all central government spending and contracts over £25,000," says the document. "Local councils will be required to publish all spending over £500."

They promise a "right to data" to allow members of the public access to government held data.

There is no news on the fate of the National Programme for IT - the enormo-NHS project - but we are promised "control of our health records".

The website containing news of this brave new world is still struggling to stay online, as we reported this morning, but this alternative might work. ®

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