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Former Prime Minister Sir Tony Blair says ministers spend a lot of time “discussing subtle differences between taxes and spending” as he launches new plans for a “tech revolution” .
Sir Tony and former Conservative Party leader Sir William Hague have made over 40 recommendations on how technology can be used to transform the economy. Times on wednesday.
This includes introducing digital identity cards that combine personal passports, driver licenses, tax records, entitlements and work rights, and encouraging the use of artificial intelligence assistants in schools.
Sir Tony told BBC Radio 4 comparing today’s politics to the industrial revolution of the 19th century. today The program “took decades for politics to catch up” with the progress made during that period.
“What’s interesting from a political point of view is that this 21st-century technological revolution is comparable to the 19th-century industrial revolution,” he said.
“The problem of politics is that unless politics begins to ask the right questions about how we harness this technology, mitigate its risks and embrace its opportunities, we risk doing what really happened in the 19th century. about it.
“When this industrial revolution happened, it took decades for politics to catch up.”
Politics, he said, is now stuck in a “20th century” mindset, “debating the subtle differences between taxes and spending.”
A report by two former political magnates who were once rivals in the House of Commons limited the powers of the Treasury Department to “microcontrol” spending on science and technology and called Whitehall’s approach “hardwired.” He also suggested appointing a minister who is not a member of parliament or a colleague to “fix it.” to innovation.
“Here’s the problem. We’re spending a lot, we’re being taxed heavily and we’re doing poorly. The question is what will change the situation,” continued Lord Tony. rice field.
He added: People are already living digitally. The question is whether governments and politics can keep up with that reality. ”
According to a Tony Blair Institute for Global Change report, many people live in a “fully digital age” and do most of their daily tasks “by tapping their watch or phone.” .
Create a report with TimesSir Tony and Lord Haig said:
They added that “technology is not a geeky side issue to tackle after the ‘real political debate’ rages on, but rather a ‘problem’ that politicians should focus on.”
The pair also argued that “extensive bureaucracy by the British government” and the Treasury Department’s “accountant” mindset stifled innovation.
“Spending is subject to massive bureaucracy, micromanaging it into small siled pots rather than facilitating sustainable investment, creating an ongoing annual funding cliff,” they said. I am writing.