Again, a question to which the answer seems to be no. Various talking heads were claiming this morning that the Department of Business – now run by Vince Cable – had somehow been sidelined because it only has one bill among the 21 which have been leaked to the Sunday Telegraph this morning (on broadband infrastucture).
This belies the fact that a bill for the Royal Mail part-privatisation, I’m reliably told, is still in Tuesday’s announcement (which also suggests that the Tel document may not be the final version). Bringing private money into the state postal operator is still a priority, albeit not necessarily one for this summer.
It also ignores the point that legislation is not the only in which a government implements policy. Take Eric Pickles’ suspension of home information packs, carried out on Friday via an emergency order (they will legislate to scrap HIPS permanently but are in no rush to do so).
Where Vince Cable does seem to be taking it on the chin is the plan for a disproportionate £900m of tomorrow’s £6bn of public sector cuts to fall on his department, as my colleague Jean Eaglesham revealed yesterday.
Meanwhile the government is rejecting the Sunday Times front page (“300,000 in public sector face the axe”) as wide of the mark.
Although to be fair to that publication, it did say that “at least 300,000 Whitehall and other public sector workers may lose their jobs”. That’s hard to prove or disprove given a medium term timeframe.