Is The Cabinet An Important Body Essay

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To what extent is the Cabinet an important body? The cabinet consists of the senior ministers in the Government. Most cabinet ministers are heads of government departments such as the Treasury, Foreign Office and Home Office. Cabinet ministers must be members of Parliament and most are drawn from the House of Commons. The main functions of the Cabinet are registering and ratifying decisions taken elsewhere in the cabinet system, discussing and deciding on major issues, receiving reports on key developments and determining government business, and settling disputes between government departments. However, even though these are the formal roles of the Cabinet many would argue that the Cabinet is now more of a formality and the power actually lies only with the Prime Minister. Firstly, it can be argued that the Cabinet is no longer an important body…show more content…
What Cabinet members discuss in the Cabinet committees is decided by the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister can even chair the committee. In this way the Prime Minister can just get them to discuss what they want them to and even influence the outcome. The use of Cabinet committees also takes away the important of the cabinet because it means that issues aren’t actually discussed in Cabinet meetings. Instead decisions are just made outside of the meetings and just reported back during the meeting. Since the Cabinet is meant to discuss and decide on major issues as well as ratifying decisions taken outside the Cabinet surely this means that the Cabinet no longer has an important role. Also, under the Blair Government he changed from having two meetings a week to one and dramatically shortened the length of meetings to around 30 minutes to half an hour and it is argued that useful and productive discussion of government policy is increasingly unlikely in this short time
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