Terms of reference

To consider whether the current role, responsibilities and operating mandate of HM Treasury are appropriate for the task of promoting and managing sustainable growth in a fairer and more equal society, and to make recommendations.

The review will consider:

  • The “economics ministry” relationship between the Treasury and other key government institutions with related responsibilities, specifically the Bank of England, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and HMRC
  • The “finance ministry” relationship between the Treasury and all government spending departments.

The recommendations will be expected to look specifically at and report on whether organisational, structural or operating mandate changes are needed to deliver:

  • A strategy for deficit reduction that avoids damaging the country’s growth potential
  • A sustainable economy, with appropriate balances between levels of investment and consumption and our trade with the rest of the world.
  • A more equal economy, with reduced differences between regional economic performance and prosperity and inequality between those at the top and bottom of the income scale.
  • Support which enables the delivery of key policies and Manifesto commitments led by other government departments.


The Panel will be asked specifically to consider whether and if so how far devolution of fiscal responsibilities from national government can and should play a part in achieving these objectives.

Conduct of the Review

The review will be led by Lord Bob Kerslake, supported by an independent Panel of experts invited to participate on the basis of their direct experience of the Treasury and other financial institutions, or for their expertise in assessing the performance of the UK economy and its impact on the lives of our citizens from a range of different perspectives. The Panel will be asked to agree its forward work programme – eg. frequency and conduct of meetings, assessment of evidence gathered and management of papers submitted – at its first meeting.

In order to maximize the opportunities for participation and ensure that all those who want to contribute to the review have a chance to do so, the Review will:

  • Call for written evidence. This will include an open call for contributions from any members of the public or representative interest groups who wish to have their views taken into account in the review, and a series of targeted invitations to give evidence to individuals and/or institutions that the Panel considers are particularly well placed to contribute by virtue of their knowledge and experience.
  • Hold open meetings across the country. These will be open to members of the public and designed to give the panel a chance to hear from as many people who have views to offer about the impact of the Treasury on their lives.
  • Create a social media presence eg on Twitter and other platforms, to ensure that people who are more comfortable with these communication channels can make their views known.


This is one of a series of reviews that have been commissioned by the Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell MP on the work of key institutions responsible for the management of the economy and the public finances. Arrangements will be made to ensure that the work of this Panel is properly coordinated with the work of other Panels set up in the review series. In addition, the Panel will be expected to ensure that the work of the new Economic Advisers Committee, also set up by the Shadow Chancellor, is taken fully into account in its deliberations.

The Review will be expected to report by July 2016.