By Matthew Barrett
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A new report (pdf) released today by the Institute for Government recommends a new Coalition Agreement-style document to reinvigorate the government for the second half of this Parliament. The new "renewal plan" would set out objectives and priorities for the remainder of the term, and would help the parties in government work more effectively, the Institute’s report - "A game of two halves – how coalition governments renew in mid-term and last the full term" - says. The report is based on interviews with figures in Westminster and Whitehall and in countries where coalitions are common.
International research confirms that all governments struggle with mid-term renewal, but the challenge is even greater for coalitions. The Institute for Government - a think-tank which focuses on the civil service's role in government - warns that Britain's civil servants should plan for a minority government towards the final months of the Coalition, as the parties in government will be trying to distinguish themselves from the Coalition, and may cause a breakdown in relations between the two parties.
A new plan, apart from renewing the Coalition, would be able to take stock of new realities. Some policies of the Government, such as Lords reform, have been opposed by backbenchers on the grounds that they are not in the Coalition Agreement. An updated document would be able to include new economic measures, to take into account the progressively worsening situation in the €urozone. The Institute for Government argues that the new plan would: