24 February 2005
The UK is poised to make significant gains in challenging areas of policy that have held the country back for years, says a new report published today.
Substantial and sustained progress across the economy and public sector is breaking down barriers to essential opportunities for all, according to the 2005 Strategic Audit from the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit.
‘The report puts the facts of the UK’s performance in the public domain in a clear and coherent way,’ says David Miliband, Minister for the Cabinet Office.
‘Britain has never had a better chance to meet the challenges of the modern world. Thanks to the foundations laid since 1997, we are making prosperity, security and opportunity realistic goals for the British people.’
Economic stability provides the platform to meet the innovation and productivity challenges posed by the world’s emerging economies.
Long waiting lists have come down, survival rates for major diseases are up, people are living longer and NHS capacity has increased; the NHS and public health services are now in the position to meet the challenges of tackling health and inequality.
Using data already in the public domain, the audit provides a balanced account of how far we’ve come and points to where there’s more work to do.
However, it concludes that many of the key measures of the UK’s performance are going in the right direction and the country can use this progress as a platform for further gains.
There are long-running and structural challenges we continue to face, says the report. These include meeting demand on transport infrastructure, ensuring enough houses are built, getting the economically inactive back to work, and improving the opportunities available to the poorest households.
Meeting these challenges with consolidation of gains already made and further progress requires prolonged and sustained effort to overcome the deep-rooted causes that lie behind them, says the report.
The report was commissioned by the Prime Minister to benchmark the UK’s performance since the first Strategic Audit, published at the end of 2003.
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