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Brown to publicly advertise external MPC appointments

Gordon Brown has announced plans to make Monetary Policy Committee appointments more transparent by openly advertising the positions of the four external members when they become vacant.

Speaking in front of the Treasury select committee for the last time as Chancellor, Brown said in future a timetable will be published for replacing external MPC members.

He said the Government would invite expressions of interest from economists and publish a list of the qualities needed for the job.

The move follows criticism that the selection process for the four out of the nine MPC members that are appointed by the Government is too secretive.

The Conservatives have welcomed the move but say it does not go far enough.

Last summer Shadow Chancellor George Osborne called for the positions to be publicly advertised, for applications to be considered by an expert independent panel chaired by the Treasury, for the TSC to have a formal role scrutinising the decision and for longer non-renewable terms for external MPC members.

Osborne says: “The Chancellor is playing catch-up. Last summer I called for reforms to enhance the independence of the Bank. Yesterday I reiterated those calls, setting out four proposals for a more transparent and systematic appointments process. Gordon Brown has belatedly signed up to just one of these reforms, but he has said nothing about crucial questions of non-renewable terms and the role of Parliament in scrutinising appointees”.

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