The State of the State 2021 - 2022

Marking a decade since the first installment, this year’s State of the State finds government and public services dealing with both the pandemic and its wider repercussions as a ‘new normal’ emerges.

Since March 2020, the UK’s government and public services have led radical, exhaustive and dynamic responses to the coronavirus pandemic. This year’s State of the State finds them dealing with both the pandemic and its wider repercussions as a ‘new normal’ emerges. Looking beyond the pandemic, the UK Government has set out its ambition to ‘build back better’ through infrastructure investment, levelling up economic outcomes across the regions and revitalising the UK’s place in the world. At the same time, the policies and politics of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales continue to diverge from Westminster and Whitehall as well as each other. The State of the State explores all of these developments through two forms of exclusive research.

To understand public attitudes, Deloitte and Reform commissioned Ipsos MORI to survey more than 5,000 people on their views of government and public services. To bring a public sector perspective, we interviewed more than 50 senior public sector figures including permanent secretaries and other senior civil servants, police chief constables, council chief executives, NHS leaders and elected representatives past and present. Together, this blend of quantitative and qualitative data provides a view of the state according to the people who depend on it and the people who run it.

Our research points to a public sector that is finding a ‘new normal’ as the UK’s pandemic response becomes embedded into daily life. That doesn’t mean a return to pre-pandemic times, but a new era in which the sector is dealing with both COVID-19 and its pervasive impact on society government and public services. Both are entering a new age of opportunity in which they can be more agile in their delivery, more responsive to the citizen and more engaged with partners in other sectors.