Monday, 6 July 2009

To Quango Or Not To Quango

Cameron says quangos to be more accountable under the Tories:
He said: "There is a lot of money to be saved, but more to the point, we want to make these more democratically accountable, so that people don't feel the rage and anger against the machine that they have no control over."

Mr Cameron's remarks were made as he announced that a Conservative government would cut the number of unelected quangos in "a massive shift in power from bureaucracy to democracy".

Shadow Cabinet ministers have been told to review every publicly-funded independent body within their briefs to determine which should be scrapped or slimmed down.
A list of quangos can be found at the Taxpayers' Alliance site.

On the other side of the divide (such as it is) Matthew Taylor comes up with a number of reasons to beware of 'quango bashing'. He ends
The big challenge for Government is to stop doing things or to do things massively more efficiently. Getting rid of quangos may or may not contribute. Still, neither major party is facing up to the scale of the public sector spending cuts and, as the Sunday Times correctly reported yesterday, despairing civil servants are taking matters in to their own hands. ‘Quango bashing’ is clever politics but, too often, lazy policy making.
He doesn't consider the possibility that many quangos may actually a total waste of time and money, for instance. If they are then they should be abolished, irrespective of how small the saving is.

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