Encouraging news today as the Daily Telegraph publishes a list of quangos to be abolished by the coalition government. The list, leaked to the paper reveals the highly anticipated list of quasi autonomous taxpayer funded bodies to be scrapped in the essential drive to cut government waste, increase efficiency and reduce the monstrous government budget deficit.
The list outlines some 177 bodies which are to be abolished, including the Health Protection Agency, the Standards Board for England, the Schools Food Trust, British Waterways and the Sustainable Development Commission to name a few. A thorough re-evaluation of the taxpayer funded bodies was something the TaxPayers’ Alliance has been campaigning on for some time. We published the most comprehensive list of the 1,148 quangos that were in place in 2007-08 last October and scrapping quangos was a key element in the TPA book How to cut public spending. Crucially, the abolition of many of these bodies will not result in a reduced service to the public, what is not made clear by politicians is that many of the functions of these bodies are carried out by other organisations or unnecessary in the first place. A clear example of this is that of the Schools Food Trust. As outlined in the book, this is an area already covered by other public bodies and charities and the main obstacle to better food in schools was micro-management in Whitehall.
Whilst the news is initially encouraging and is proof the coalition is serious about improving public sector efficiency and tackling the huge deficit, the Telegraph also lists a number of bodies still under review. It names the Carbon Trust, The Advisory Council on Public Records and the Energy Savings Trust among others whose future is yet undecided. This shows that there are still lots more quangos that can be added to this growing bonfire.