Setting up a policy consultation that doesn’t actually do any proper consulting seems to be a growing theme under Dave. A report by Rupert Darwall, the policy wonk who helped expose the Civil Service foul up over the Virgin West Coast train franchise, has laid into the Department of Health’s consultation on plain packaging. Darwall’s report finds:
- The consultation was deliberately framed to garner support for plain packaging, presenting policy-makers with a loaded question.
- Questionable evidence: no causal link between packaging and smoking.
- Department of Health admitted the consultation was biased but has done nothing about it.
- Consultation does not consider negative impacts such as reducing barriers to illegal tobacco.
- Overall the consultation creates a misleading impression that plain packaging will cut smoking.
That went well then. You can read Darwall’s report in full here…