Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak to shake the Treasury with the approach of “Silicon Valley”


Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, must abandon decades of Treasury orthodoxy, prioritizing public spending over projects that “will move quickly, start small and fail quickly.”In a major speech this week, Steve Barclay, the Chief Secretary of the Treasury, will reveal plans to import a venture-capital-type approach from Silicon Valley that would champion “innovative” projects and those that would be quickest to complete. government promises in infrastructure, roads and energy.

This overhaul will mark a major break with the more cautious approach traditionally taken by the Treasury, which has led Philip Hammond, Chancellor of Theresa May, to be dubbed “Spreadsheet Phil”.

In a speech to influential think tank Onward on Tuesday, Mr Barclay, leading a review of all spending at Whitehall, will describe the Treasury as “the new radicals.”

The reshuffle is likely to lead to moves similar to the government’s controversial £ 400million investment in OneWeb, a bankrupt satellite company, as part of its plan to replace the use of the navigation system by EU satellite.

It is also likely that ministers will follow a series of collision courses with senior officials. Last week it emerged that Sam Beckett, the business department’s senior official, had requested a written “ministerial directive” formally ordering officials to acquire the stake in OneWeb, warning that the money could be lost.


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