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Should quangos be cut?

11:19 UK time, Thursday, 14 October 2010

Over 190 quangos - organisations funded by government but not run by it - are to either be abolished or have their functions taken over by the government or other bodies. Is this the right decision?

Supporters of quangos say they have expertise of their area and operate without ministerial interference, but opponents argue they reduce accountability and increase costs.

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude says the cuts will save money but the "principle objective" is to "increase accountability". Unions argue the changes will damage public services, cost jobs and not result in savings.

Do quangos perform an important politically impartial role? Are the right quangos being cut? Will there be an impact on public services?

Thank you for your comments. This debate is now closed.

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Comments

Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    The supporters of Quangos can sing their benefits to the rafters for all we care. The problem for most of Joe Public is that they are stuffed with the governing parties friends and doners, and it doesn't matter which party as they are all at it.

    The position to me is very simple. If it has to be done then government should do it, get the blame if it is wrong and take the praise (as it does - always) when it does it right.


  • Comment number 2.

    "Do quangos perform an important politically impartial role?"
    Important? possibly. Politically impartial? hahahahaha!
    " Are the right quangos being cut?"
    In most cases, it sseems so, thiugh I haven't seen the whole list. Unfortunately the country is so broke that we have to start cutting the luxuries & if the choice is betweent the UK film council & Uk trade international, it's really a no brainer. I think more could be done on merging some of them though.
    "Will there be an impact on public services?"
    That one's a "wait & see" It would be marvellous if there was no impact at all, then hopefully we could save more money by getting rid of a few more.
    Even for those that aren't being cut there needs to be a serious overhaul of how they are staffed & run, including their expenses, & how much the people in them are getting paid. Some of the people running these quangos are on a wage that would make a footballer blush!

  • Comment number 3.

    That is a very general question which requires a no. If this was about particular quango's then there appears to be the general opinion of yes depending which are chosen.

    If the work can be consolidated to fewer workers with more accountability then there should be a huge improvement in savings and talent.

  • Comment number 4.

    I want the government to cut anything that isn't as accountable as any commercial business. I want workers to be accountable for every penny they earn - just like me.

  • Comment number 5.

    "Should QUANGOS be cut"? is the HYS question.

    Part of the problem with QUANGOs is their lack of transparency on salaries of Trustees, Boards of Members and basically the higher echilons that cream off the top while being incompetent, that give many QUANGOs a bad name? It would be better to examine the above and merge those that duplicate and retain ordinary working people who work within them?

    In addition, while the government are examining waste - would Eric Pickles take a long hard look at the waste of Local/Council Authorities? What do I mean by that?

    Well, if any reader or poster on HYS has experienced their perfectly fine high street, market square, town centre ripped up and re-designed every 5yrs or so by their Council spending millions and wondered why????

    The disruption to workers, business, schools, commuters, increased congestion and pollution, loss of parking for business and employees and driving the death of whole communities and small business.

    Can the Communities Secretary call a complete halt to Councils causing pointless disruption to perfectly functioning communities and Council Tax payers.

    Furthermore, apparently, Councils collect business rates that go straight to central government and is not re-invested in local communities!

  • Comment number 6.

    2. At 11:46am on 14 Oct 2010, RubbishGirl wrote:

    if the choice is betweent the UK film council & Uk trade international, it's really a no brainer.

    ---------------------------------------------

    Hollywood is a big propaganda machine that helps sustain America's influence and popularity in the world. We should be doing the same.

    It's not a coincidence that American English is more widely spoken than true English.

  • Comment number 7.

    Definitely, there appears to be a quango for everything, staffed full of overpaid people. There is certainly room to merge ones that are not cut too, lots of duplication going on.

  • Comment number 8.

    1. At 11:45am on 14 Oct 2010, JohnH wrote:
    The supporters of Quangos can sing their benefits to the rafters for all we care. The problem for most of Joe Public is that they are stuffed with the governing parties friends and doners, and it doesn't matter which party as they are all at it.

    --
    The problem with Daily Mail readers is, that no matter how many times they have it explained to them, they can't seem to get it into their heads that there is no standard organisation known as a 'quango'.

    They all have very different functions, organisations and constituents.

    Yes some Quangos are superfluos to requirements, yes some of them are faintly ridiculous, but some of them, for exaple OFWAT or OFFCOM priovide functions that are vital to the British public.

    To the point that if you scrap them they will inevitably and expensively have to be replaced.

    This idea that all Quangos are bad is dumbed-down tabloid nonsense.

  • Comment number 9.

    To be honest, Quangos are job creation schemes which have spiralled out of control. They then create more red tape for genuine businesses & organisations.

  • Comment number 10.

    The only quangos that should be retained are the ones designed to protect the consumer - and then only those which do the job without paying grossly inflated salaries and expenses. Nothing left is there?

  • Comment number 11.

    No doubt they will all have cast iron contracts that still entitle them to big severance pay, huge pensions!

  • Comment number 12.

    As long as they keep the "Government Hospitality Advisory Committee on the purchase of Wines"

    I want a job on that QUANGO

    What a joke !

  • Comment number 13.

    I don't profess to know much about what any of these quangos do nor what effectiveness they have - like most people commenting here also don't I expect - however, just wanted to say that I do feel sorry for the amount of people losing their jobs in the beginning of the cuts everywhere. While there are chief execs and directors on ridiculous wages at the top, there are 20 more secretaries/admin staff/IT staff etc about to be made redundant and who will be fruitlessly searching for a job in a country where are are no jobs. Mr Cameron has assured us that the private sector has plenty of vacancies as they are going to pick up the slack from the public sector cuts. Looking forward to an improvement on the 2 jobs (yes, just 2)that were advertised in my local paper this week. About 650,000 should do it.

  • Comment number 14.

    "Should QUANGOs be cut"? If quangos were more open and accountable, then they would not be regarded by tax-payers as comfy little kingdoms?

    Slightly off topic - but more worrying than any quango is a certain supermarket, not satisfied with huge, out of town, shopping - but are also intent in turning every local high street in Britain into a ghost town too by reducing choice and independent business?

    I would like to see David Cameron come down hard on this insidious virus - that has a cure - but the Cabinet chooses to ignore.

  • Comment number 15.

    I'd hope to see more radical reform of a genuine nature, instead of seeing something replaced by something else. gutted to see the Environment Agency lives on, even if it is to be reformed. like many quangos, set up with the best of intentions, but morphed into something far less worthy of immitation and granted too much power

  • Comment number 16.

    Oh dear, oh dear! Refresh my memory: didn't we have exactly this "debate" a few weeks ago when the list was leaked in the first place?
    I'm all in favour of recycling to help protect the environment, but does it really have to go as far as recycling old HYS debates?

    Mind you: we could come back to it in a few years time when multi-million pound consultations have taken place, fat redundancy payments are paid out to the older members of the upper echelons, new non-jobs have been created for the rest of the senior staff and the people at the bottom who do any of the real work are all dumped. . .

  • Comment number 17.

    Cuts for cuts sake are not a good idea, as we may soon learn to our cost.

    However there are quangos for whom the intention, that of regulating private business affairs with a strong public service vein, has failed miserably, not necessarily through any fault of their own.

    When a body is supposed to have sharp teeth but has to visit a failed dentist turned politician for multiple extractions prior to conducting their affairs then we may as well have done nothing.

    There is a very good argument for suggesting that weak quangos help to produce the global econmic collapse because sharp practice by companies was not investigated, dealt with and punished appropriately. You should never trust private business on its own.

    (And as someone with a vested interest in the performing arts, I'd like to see the UK Film Council being given the backing it really deserves. But I accept that is me being very, very selfish.)

  • Comment number 18.

    2. At 11:46am on 14 Oct 2010, RubbishGirl wrote:

    if the choice is betweent the UK film council & Uk trade international, it's really a no brainer.

    ----

    Judging from the recent noises from Westminster, yes the UK film council will be scrapped, but the government has now recognised that it was doing a reasonably important job, to the point where they will almost certainly set up a new Quango (under a different name of course, to save face) fulfilling almost exactly the same role.

    Thats the problem with these 'slash n' burn' policies - If they don't look very carefully at what the bodies they are cutting actually do (and i've seen no evidence that they have) then half of them will end up being reborn, with all the additional expense that involves, under different names.

  • Comment number 19.

    It depends whether they are efficient at delivering their services and whether there really is a need for what they deliver. Its too complex a question to say just yes or no. But this Government seems to simplifying everything down to comparing Govt expenditure to that of a household which I have to say its extremely naive. I just hope you all have the ability to pay for everything you need!

  • Comment number 20.

    As POSTCOM and OFCOM are to merge - will they be now called P'OFCOM?

  • Comment number 21.

    ALL should go. It is a hidisously long list. It can only serve as a 'gravey train'.
    Government and the MP's should be making descisions and not hiding behind these unellected bodies.
    Close them all.

  • Comment number 22.

    Yes, but I bet the ones people want to go won't and the ones we don't want to go will! Maybe best to get rid of the lot of them and see how it goes. They're costing the taxpayer so much money in salaries and pensions their existence can no longer be justified.

  • Comment number 23.

    Many quangoes are an unnecessary waste of public funds. Given that and the fact that we are living in austere times these should be cut.

    Don't these people realise yet we have to save money not carry on squandering it!!

  • Comment number 24.

    I see that the Conservative/Liberal Democratc Parties coalition is not listed. Not a fair comment, but it seems that Liberal Democrat Party is rahter redundant, given that, for the most part, since gaining power, we are now party to Conservative policies in this marriage of convenience.

  • Comment number 25.

    I don't know enough about it to have a guess.

    Remember that hopefully at some point in the future it will be possible to measure the effects of all the restructuring that the government is doing, so at some stage they too will have to face the consequences of their actions, whether appraised as good or bad.

  • Comment number 26.

    "The supporters of Quangos can sing their benefits to the rafters for all we care. The problem for most of Joe Public is that they are stuffed with the governing parties friends and doners, and it doesn't matter which party as they are all at it.

    The position to me is very simple. If it has to be done then government should do it, get the blame if it is wrong and take the praise (as it does - always) when it does it right."

    The problem Joe Public has is that he's not bothered enough to find out about each and every single QUANGO, how much it costs, how much it saves us, how much abolishing it would cost, and how much abolishing it would save.
    The other problem Joe Public has is that the government hasn't either.

    Oh look - bathwater! Let's get rid of that!

  • Comment number 27.

    Monstrously overpaid Quangos are only self-serving cash cows, liberally throwing taxpayers money around without a care in the world. The "bonfire of the Quangos" is only going to give a vast army of incompetent buffoons massive payouts and pension benefits. Taxpayer loses again.
    I don't think you will see any Quango members in the dole queues any day soon.

  • Comment number 28.


    QUANGOs are merely an ultra expensive way of avoiding ministerial responsibility and political accountability so the vast majority, if not all, need to be placed on the bonfire of public sector cuts.

    This is because there is no more money so there is no alternative and very soon everyone everywhere will know exactly what that means.

  • Comment number 29.

    Why isn't the EHRC on this list?

  • Comment number 30.

    After skimming through the list quickly it seems to me that a lot of functions are now going to be taken over by charties or private companies. So either they will be done by charities for free because nobody else wants the responsibility, but only if we all donate to the charity. Or they will be done by private companies charging a fee, which you can bet will be a lot more than the cost of the quanqo itself.

  • Comment number 31.

    Is this a rhetorical question? Can you imagine this sort of thing in the private sector?

    Government at all levels needs an urgent functional review - particularily at a local level where waste, ineptness and practices more commonly found in the seventies, are rife. (and protected by loony lefties and self interested sycophants).

  • Comment number 32.

    The fact that so mant quangos are going to be cut (190), shows the extent to which the government intefers in our everyday lives. I'll bet that Stalin didn't have as many as "democratic" Britain.

  • Comment number 33.

    Just want to say one thing to the people employed in these Quangoes, if any of you voted conservative at the last election then the blame lies with yourself. Everybody knows that the Tories hate people who work, and now they are putting you on the dole next week they will cut the benefits you will be applying for.
    So come the next election think before you vote remember before you vote

  • Comment number 34.

    Here is a thought, perhaps if any document produce by a insurance company, governmant agency, utility company, business or local authority.
    Had to be by Law unstood by people with the average reading age of say a
    9 year old, if they then failed to meet this standard, then they would be found in default, ambiguites would be punished, perhaps the requirement for Quagos would be vastly reduced.

  • Comment number 35.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 36.

    Britain's financial troubles are over. The government is to abolish the Railway Heritage Committee - with all its staff - all one of them.

    That's really going to make a difference, isn't it.

  • Comment number 37.

    Trevor Philips, and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) how much money have they spent????.EHRC The goverments BOOT BOYS...Why isn't the EHRC on this list?

  • Comment number 38.

    The OFT should go, its a waste of space and effort, worse it comes to obviously bizarre conclusions. Just today it came up with some total rubbish about beer ties - if I am a landlord and I have to buy beer from the one single brewery they can - and speak to any landlord they DO - charge a massive premium to these tied landlords. This prevents these landlords competing effectively - and where all pubs in a town/village are tied - whether to the same brewery or not - these restrictions stop competition. Its amazing that this isn't obvious to them. The only viable explanation for their conclusion both in this case and the frequent statements that 'supermarkets compete' obviously involves pressure or incentive.

  • Comment number 39.

    30. At 12:52pm on 14 Oct 2010, suzie127 wrote:
    After skimming through the list quickly it seems to me that a lot of functions are now going to be taken over by charties or private companies.

    -----

    Yep - look at this one

    'British Waterways - No longer a Public Corporation - Abolish as a public corporation in England and Wales and create a new waterways charity – similar to a National Trust for the waterways.'

    At the moment Part of British Waterway's responsibilities include the maintenence of river banks, under bridge flows, debris (flytyping) on river sites.

    If the charity replacing them doesn't get the donations it needs from the public, then not only will the entire county's waterways deteriorate into overgrown, rubbish strewn eyesores, we're going to see the kind of regular large scale flooding that we just don't get in this country.

    And thats before the rivers start changing their courses and eroding property, as they will start to do quite quickly if not properly maintained...

  • Comment number 40.

    Oeing to a few comments given, I feel like I should qualify my earlier statement regarding the UK film council. From a purely selfish point of view I'd keep the film council. I Trained as an actress & still have a huge interest in the arts. I think Britain always has & still does turn out some of the best actors in the world, the fact that there are so many earning so well in the US right now is testament to that fact. However I do believe we're in very difficult times & was simply saying that there are hard choices to be made & we need to keep the services that benefit the many over the few, possibly should have chosen some better examples (that "wine" quango someone mentioned earlier would've been good). It's a case of someone asking me whether I'd rather have my Warcraft subscription or loo roll, now I'm far more interested in Warcraft than 2ply but I know which one I'd cut if I had to budget!

  • Comment number 41.

    I'd bet that Francis Maude didn't say 'principle objective', though he may well have said 'principal objective'.
    However, I'm sure we all know what Auntie means and we're glad to have yet another opportunity to speak through an orifice that was designed for a very different purpose.

  • Comment number 42.

    The problem with Daily Mail readers is, that no matter how many times they have it explained to them, they can't seem to get it into their heads that there is no standard organisation known as a 'quango'.

    And the problem with Guardian readers is they think all the jobs in it are "proper" jobs with an real function.
    What are:-

    Integrated Young Peoples Support Services Operational – Lead Youth Justice Services

    Operational Lead - Positive Activities

    These are 2 jobs alright with Walsall Council but they are typical job with Titles that don't actually say what they do. Quangos tend to be full of the same obtuse jobs "titles"

    My job title is Electrical Engineer it is what it says it is not some title that means nothing. If the people in these quangos can justify there job and call themselves by a title that says what they do perhaps people who don't work in quangos might look at them with a bit more sympathy.

    What are the "Government Strategic Marketing Advisory Board, Office for Civil Society Advisory Board, Agricultural Dwelling House Advisory Board (x16) & Committee on Agricultural Valuation. What do they do, what do they produce (of value). Perhaps it's about time we accepted the fact that the UK is broke and the only way to pump money into the coffers is t actually produce things that other countries want to buy. Have you seen the Chinese trade deficit, no! It's a $16.9 billion surplus this month DOWN from a $20 billion surplus last month. We have too many people hanging onto the public purse gravy train and not enough who actually produce something of value & before anyone says it I am NOT talking about rank & file nurses, doctors, police etc. I'm talking about the faceless wonders who swell the ranks with the non meaning job titles.

  • Comment number 43.

    While i`m sure a lot of these quangos could be thinned out there`s one that does concern me, and that is the abolition of the audit comission. as it`s the only one that holds local government to account including health, housing, community safety and fire and rescue services. Now maybe the body that replaces it in 2012/2013 may well fir for purpose, but i suspect along with cost cutting there is also a political ideology aspect to this and that doesn`t bode well for democracy (if it exists) in this country.

  • Comment number 44.

    31. At 12:53pm on 14 Oct 2010, One in a million wrote:
    Is this a rhetorical question? Can you imagine this sort of thing in the private sector?

    -----

    Nope - thats why you need independant bodies like OFFWAT regulating the quality of the drinking water which private companies process.

    Or do think that the private companies would maintain drinking water quality withouth supervision, at the cost of their own profits?

    After all UK drinking water is way above the mimimum quality described by EU regulations.

    There's obviously room for an overall downgrading of the quality the water supplied to our homes....

  • Comment number 45.

    The UK now has the chance to remove the quasi political organisations, which are nearly all in the hands of the La La Labour supporting champagne socialists. 'Friends of Labour' have had too much of a say in the running of OUR country and are not democratically accountable to government and US, the electorate. That’s the way they want it, quasi intellectual elitists who know better than us, the common proletariat. Now they will be pushed out or made to work for a living, next the public sector and the BBC. You have had it too cosy for too long at OUR expense.
    The left MUST be removed from where it now infests after it was thrown out of the private sector in the 70's and 80's. This has been a long time coming, let’s do it right and remove the infestation once and for all. If they like socialism so much they can go and live in Cuba or North Korea, the 'Peoples Paradise', you have messed OUR country up too many times now.

  • Comment number 46.

    The whole lot should be subjected to rigorous independent scrutiny and those who are found actually to have a bona fide reason for existing should be integrated into the appropriate Government department where their 'expertise' can be justified to a responsible minister.I suspect that most quangos are merely gravy trains which exist solely to be exploited by unqualified, otherwise unemployable duffers who need to learn what life is like in the real world.

  • Comment number 47.

    As we pay over 650 MP's to run the country we don't need these quangos.

    So the more we get rid of the better, and then we should get rid of many MP's as well. We don't need anywhere near as many as we have got.

  • Comment number 48.

    14. At 12:30pm on 14 Oct 2010, corum-populo-2010 wrote:

    "Should QUANGOs be cut"? If quangos were more open and accountable, then they would not be regarded by tax-payers as comfy little kingdoms?

    Slightly off topic - but more worrying than any quango is a certain supermarket, not satisfied with huge, out of town, shopping - but are also intent in turning every local high street in Britain into a ghost town too by reducing choice and independent business?

    I would like to see David Cameron come down hard on this insidious virus - that has a cure - but the Cabinet chooses to ignore.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    But then again corum it was never about quality of life but quality of profit generation. As usual they know the price of everything and the value of nothing. Sad but true.

  • Comment number 49.

    Most, if not all, need to go. But they won't. Governments need them to reward time servers, bureaucrats, and scientists, doctors, and other experts whose reports and conclusions will endorse the prejudices and subjective opinions of the politicians.

    For example, a health related quango today will survive if it comes up with solutions on where to axe health care. Geddit.

    The quangos will not be axed; they will be renamed and all the old faces will appear in the new quangos.

    Colleagues employed on some of the quangos earmarked for cutting are optimistically informing me that all will be well.

    Don't the people of this country understand that there is no deficit crisis, no need for massive cuts, otherwise the governments just might be required to make a few savings.

  • Comment number 50.

    I really don't know how the country is going to survive without the following, which most of us could do on our own:
    Agricultural Dwelling House Advisory Committees, Advisory Committee on Organic Standards (tastes rubbish), Thurrock Development Corporation (why just Thurrock?!!), Valuation Tribunal for England (errrr... we're broke!!), Horserace Totalisator Board (there's a lot of them!!), Darwin Advisory Committee (errr... he's dead!), Expert Panel on Air Quality Standards (pretty ropey in urban areas), Food from Britain, National Standing Committee on Farm Animal Genetic Resources (errrr?), Caribbean Board (this Quango will be really devastated!!!!), Government Hospitality Advisory Committee on the purchase of Wines (Times Wine Club would be a lot cheaper!!!!), Cycling England (what about us walkers?!!!), UK India Round Table (under consideration????)
    Are we really going to miss that bunch of free-loading criminals?

  • Comment number 51.


    @batrachian

    "Why isn't the EHRC on this list?"


    The Equalities and Human Rights Commission should have been on the top of list and the very first to go. Another unnecessary, useless QUANGO that would have saved the tax payer 60,000,000 a year.

    However, I wouldn't worry. This announcement is far too timid because Bankrupt Britain has completely run out of all that money it has borrowed. In the end, we will be forced (just like Canada) to implement far more radical measures because there is simply no alternative.

    Therefore, expect far more of the 901 QAUNGOs to have its money supply cut off and to be abolished than the mere 190 that they have announced today.

  • Comment number 52.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 53.

    Here`s a thought? They say capitalism is good as it enriches our lives to buy that which we would otherwise have to go without. Apparently we`re far better off now than we ever were. Yet, from my perspective, we are more miserable now than we have ever been. Why is that?

  • Comment number 54.

    Will there be an impact on public services?

    In an 'cost cutting' sense, this may be a good move, BUT it WILL impact the quality of public services at leastr in some areas.

    For example, both the Tenant Services Authority, Audit Comission and the National Tenant Voice are casualties. This means that the regulator, inspector and tenant voice for social housing tenants is being sacrificed (albeit the regulatory funtion will move elsewhere). This means that unless a significant number of staff from these bodies are reimployed elsewhere in a similar function, regulatory intervention in social housing may be reduced and in some cases, standards may drop.

    Social housing has been over-regulated for years, BUT if you want high quality public services, you need quango to make sure they ARE high quality.

    I'm in favour of the cuts, but I belive it is a choice of either offering the 'value' brand public service or the 'finest' brand. We may have to get used to the 'value' range.....

  • Comment number 55.

    Archive question

    Should quangos be abolished?
    12:00 UK time, Friday, 24 September 2010

    Proposals to scrap 180 quangos and merge a further 124 have been seen by the BBC's Politics Show. What is your reaction to the list?
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Todays question.

    Should quangos be cut?
    11:19 UK time, Thursday, 14 October 2010

    Over 190 quangos - organisations funded by government but not run by it - are to either be abolished or have their functions taken over by the government or other bodies. Is this the right decision?




    It seems HYS are so bereft of worthy topics for public debate, they are raiding the archives and recycling old debates by changing one word in the question and pretending it is a new topic.





  • Comment number 56.

    "33. At 12:55pm on 14 Oct 2010, alan wrote:
    Just want to say one thing to the people employed in these Quangoes, if any of you voted conservative at the last election then the blame lies with yourself. Everybody knows that the Tories hate people who work, and now they are putting you on the dole next week they will cut the benefits you will be applying for.
    So come the next election think before you vote remember before you vote"

    Oh Dear, more lefty nonsense on HYS. The Tories don't hate those that work, just those in non wealth creating jobs. I assume you support all public sector jobs Alan, regardless of worth. But if the public sector was half competent, any where near efficient, then we wouldn't need so many Quangos because the public sector would be doing the work properly. But they patently aren't as most people who know public sector workers knows. We had one at our office, lasted 3 months before she had to go back to the BHS for a rest!!!!
    Some quangos have a role, and those are being kpet, or merged into other departments. Not everyone will lose their jobs, they'll simply be absorbed, but lose the extra layers of beurocracy and overpaid, overpensioned, over redundancy claused managers.
    I'm still waiting for a Leftie (the alternative to Tory for the mediators) to suggest a meaningful way of tackling the deficit that doesn't involve such punitive taxes that businesses move overseas. And even Red Ed Millipeed understands that.
    Labour, get in power, leave the country in a financial mess, they do it every time. Check your history books before you vote.

  • Comment number 57.

    It's been quite fun listening to 'The World At One' this lunchtime & hearing from various quango bods making pleas for their particular quango & why we can't survive without them. I'd bet a months wages that they could all go on strike tomorrow & nobody would notice.
    Why should unelected politically stuffed tax payer fund quangos be a special case against the cuts? They are in fact the first place for the axe to fall to save cash.

  • Comment number 58.

    42. At 1:13pm on 14 Oct 2010, I_want_to_emigrate wrote:

    What are the "Government Strategic Marketing Advisory Board, Office for Civil Society Advisory Board, Agricultural Dwelling House Advisory Board (x16) & Committee on Agricultural Valuation. What do they do, what do they produce (of value)

    ----

    If you haven't bothered to find out, whow can your criticism possibly be valid?

  • Comment number 59.

    I'm all for anything that increases accountability and transparency of government. It seems quangos have been introduced over the years to do precisely the opposite (while at the same time providing nice stipends for party hacks & favourites).
    So swing the axe.
    And take their functions back into government. I can elect members of Parliament; I can't elect members of quangos. If they're spending my money I want electoral control.
    And after that, making a start on the little hitlers in local authorities would be good. And maybe then, an assault on the criminals in Brussels (we can but dream)...

  • Comment number 60.

    I think the intention here, on the part of the government and their media friends, is to create the impression of so much bath water it will be impossible to know where to start in finding the baby that is intended to be thrown away.







  • Comment number 61.

    I wish I was in marketing since these people are likely to make a real killing here.
    What I expect to happen is that any number of these quangos will be scrapped because it will be seen as a very popular cost saving measure. Unfortunately we will not be told just how much this will cost us in the form of severance pay etc.
    We will subsequently find that some of the work that was being done was actually valuable and necessary so some other organisation will have to be set up in order to do the work previously done by the quango that we just scrapped.
    Clearly our government (that would be any government, regardless of political persuasion) cannot possibly admit to having got it wrong so they will go out of their way to give the appearance that the newly created department is something totally and utterly different from the disbanded quango...........and that's where the marketing men come into their own.

  • Comment number 62.

    Why stop at 190 - there are hundreds of them. How many have you heard of?
    Just how many experts do we need sitting round a table telling one another just how expert they are. Who decided they had the know how in the first place.
    However, people need to know that there are few people who work for Charities - that dont draw a salary or other form of payment. The ones who work for free tend to be the ones you see behind the shop counter - but the charity shop mananger, area manager and so on upwards are all salaried.
    So the next time you drop your money into the slot - think about where it goes

  • Comment number 63.

    45. At 1:17pm on 14 Oct 2010, AuntieLeft wrote:
    The UK now has the chance to remove the quasi political organisations, which are nearly all in the hands of the La La Labour supporting champagne socialists.

    ----

    Evidence?

  • Comment number 64.

    Where 'Quangos' are concerned, this Coalition of the Right is starting from the premise of cutting as many as possible.
    Reviewing their operations and remits to determine which functions should remain with a quango, which functions should return to a government department or be vested at local authority level or are no longer required does not appear to be the methodology used.

  • Comment number 65.

    At 12:28pm on 14 Oct 2010, stevehello1234 wrote:
    As long as they keep the "Government Hospitality Advisory Committee on the purchase of Wines"

    =====
    I really thought you were making this one up but you really weren't

    This just seems to be a way round expense fidling, and trying to justify that Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1982. If this were the private sector you'd be up before the disciplinary committee

  • Comment number 66.

    6. At 12:09pm on 14 Oct 2010, BaldLea wrote:

    2. At 11:46am on 14 Oct 2010, RubbishGirl wrote:

    if the choice is betweent the UK film council & Uk trade international, it's really a no brainer.

    ---------------------------------------------

    Hollywood is a big propaganda machine that helps sustain America's influence and popularity in the world. We should be doing the same.

    It's not a coincidence that American English is more widely spoken than true English.

    What is true though, is that American English is actually closer to original English (Queen Elizabeth 1) times than the English we speak. So, you are in fact, wrong.

  • Comment number 67.

    Some quangos are necessary, some quangos are unnecessary. Merge or get rid off the unnecessary ones like the GHACPW. A lot of the work can be done by the ministerial departments for less.

  • Comment number 68.

    Governments should stop bleeding ordinary working people dry. Quangos are yet another area where a few elite individuals are paid obscene amounts of money to take years investigating something the average 9 year old could have solved during a school break time. Presumably the Quangos only survived this long to give employment to the legions of semi-literate graduates our ridiculous education system is now churning out.

  • Comment number 69.

    So when the 'Government Hospitality Advisory Committee on the purchase of Wines' was set up can anybody remember seeing any of the positions being advertised in the 'sits vac' section of the local paper or anywhere else?
    I would really love to hear from the individual who leads this particular group as to how he managed to land this job and how many other applications there were.

  • Comment number 70.

    44. At 1:17pm on 14 Oct 2010, Horse wrote:

    31. At 12:53pm on 14 Oct 2010, One in a million wrote:
    Is this a rhetorical question? Can you imagine this sort of thing in the private sector?

    -----

    Nope - thats why you need independant bodies like OFFWAT regulating the quality of the drinking water which private companies process.

    Or do think that the private companies would maintain drinking water quality withouth supervision, at the cost of their own profits?

    After all UK drinking water is way above the mimimum quality described by EU regulations.

    There's obviously room for an overall downgrading of the quality the water supplied to our homes....

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    You only have to look at the enourmous damage unsupervised banks did to know the answer to that one Horse. Unaccountability only produces profit driven inferior services.

  • Comment number 71.

    Most of these I have never heard of and just looking through the names some of them seem fasical. One just for hepatitus ?

    I just hope when they remove or merge the quangoes, they dont merge the staff so we get bloated quangoes and govt departments. We need to see real redundancies and not be giving vast golden parachutes to the board members.

    Just think of the office space now relieved with these bodies now abolished.

    I hope we see some real savings from the cuts and mergers.

    Makes you think maybe we need a clean out of government waste every 10 years ?


  • Comment number 72.

    8. At 12:19pm on 14 Oct 2010, Horse wrote:
    1. At 11:45am on 14 Oct 2010, JohnH wrote:
    The supporters of Quangos can sing their benefits to the rafters for all we care. The problem for most of Joe Public is that they are stuffed with the governing parties friends and doners, and it doesn't matter which party as they are all at it.

    --
    The problem with Daily Mail readers is, that no matter how many times they have it explained to them, they can't seem to get it into their heads that there is no standard organisation known as a 'quango'.

    They all have very different functions, organisations and constituents.

    Yes some Quangos are superfluos to requirements, yes some of them are faintly ridiculous, but some of them, for exaple OFWAT or OFFCOM priovide functions that are vital to the British public.

    To the point that if you scrap them they will inevitably and expensively have to be replaced.

    This idea that all Quangos are bad is dumbed-down tabloid nonsense.

    -------

    My first point was concerned with the serial quango members who seem to be associated with whoever is making the appointments. Maybe not all of them, but enough to put in the mind of any free thinking person - hang on?

    My second point was not about whether Quangos were good or bad it was about whether they are needed or superfluous. If they are needed, then government should do it, and take the rap.

    I am not saying that every thing currently done by Quango's should be ended, but it seems far too easy to set one up and almost impossible to close one down.

    And for calling me a daily fail reader! really! that is an insult too far!






  • Comment number 73.

    Unions response they are vital keep them, Mr sorry there is no money Byrne says we Labour had plans to slowly close 25% of them. So 25% of the Quangoes have ceased to be value for money but we rather wanted to keep the employees what providing what no one wants or needs so basically a job creation scheme. Slowly could be fifty years.
    Every statement Labour make is basically retain spend more borrow more something for everyone no one has to pay upset no one from yummy mummies to the work shy, the very rich to the very poor, students single mothers, the unions sorry upset Tony and Gordon deny you ever met them and I didnt support the war, at least David M didnt deny that he did.

  • Comment number 74.

    If it's not required, then get rid of it! Many of the quangoes are a useless unnecessary waste of public cash, employing people from the political underworld, the minor aristocracy, the unemployable in the world of hard work , and the kids of those with an inside line to the government.

  • Comment number 75.

    I presume that as we still need nuclear power British Nuclear Fuels is one of the Quango's which are going to be 'powers passed to other non-public bodies' i.e sold to a French electricity company who will then jack up the prices for us consumers. As the Atomic Energy Commission is also for the chop the French company running our atomic energy will then be unregulated too....

  • Comment number 76.

    8. At 12:19pm on 14 Oct 2010, Horse wrote:
    The problem with Daily Mail readers is, that no matter how many times they have it explained to them, they can't seem to get it into their heads that there is no standard organisation known as a 'quango'.

    They all have very different functions, organisations and constituents.

    Yes some Quangos are superfluos to requirements, yes some of them are faintly ridiculous, but some of them, for exaple OFWAT or OFFCOM priovide functions that are vital to the British public.

    To the point that if you scrap them they will inevitably and expensively have to be replaced.

    This idea that all Quangos are bad is dumbed-down tabloid nonsense.
    ----------
    The problem with Guardian "readers is, that no matter how many times they have it explained to them, they can't seem to get it into their heads" that they have not considered the benefits of mergers between OFWAT, OFFCOM and OFGEM; cutting the higher management and giving a consistent message for all Utility services providers.

  • Comment number 77.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 78.

    54. At 1:31pm on 14 Oct 2010, callaspadeaspade wrote:

    I'm in favour of the cuts, but I belive it is a choice of either offering the 'value' brand public service or the 'finest' brand. We may have to get used to the 'value' range..... "

    Yes - but that's all we can afford. People need to appreciate that. We shouldn't be paying for things with money we haven't got - especially paying running costs. Borrowing money for capital investment is one thing, but borrowing money to pay wages and other regular running costs is just stupid.

    The cuts will hurt, because they will often mean that people have to learn to think for themselves again, and a lot of people in this country have got out of that habit, expecting everything to be handed to them on a silver plate.

    A 'value' spud may not look as pretty as a 'finest' spud, but it's still a spud.

  • Comment number 79.

    No!

    The Con-Dems are using "Divide and Rule" tactics to play us off. Unfortunately, the reactionaries in British society will fall for their game and we will all suffer.

  • Comment number 80.

    Past culls in this area would tend to suggest that it will just be a re badging exercise and a shuffle of the people , there will be job losses but in the long term they will come back stuffed with supporters of the current Government, but under a different heading on the notepaper.

  • Comment number 81.

    There are way too many quangos, most serve no purpose and exist, well for no good reason. However, some of the ones the Tories what to cut, seem daft to me, while others are kept which serve no purpose whatsoever.

  • Comment number 82.

    I think any Quango should be sacked if their job and pay cannot be justified. I spend everryday working hard to justify my low salary so I don't see why others don't.

    A few months ago I saw a job 'Cultural Awareness' adviser being advertised. I read the Job Description - they basically needed a person based in a council/public sector office to inform others about Islam and other minorities, help whinging minorities to sue other people. What a load of nonsense! It's essentially a non-job to force people to like absolutely everyone. The pay was £35,000. This is far more than I earn and what teachers earn!

  • Comment number 83.

    8. At 12:19pm on 14 Oct 2010, Horse wrote:
    1. At 11:45am on 14 Oct 2010, JohnH wrote:
    The supporters of Quangos can sing their benefits to the rafters for all we care. The problem for most of Joe Public is that they are stuffed with the governing parties friends and doners, and it doesn't matter which party as they are all at it.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    The problem with Daily Mail readers is, that no matter how many times they have it explained to them, they can't seem to get it into their heads that there is no standard organisation known as a 'quango'.

    They all have very different functions, organisations and constituents.

    Yes some Quangos are superfluos to requirements, yes some of them are faintly ridiculous, but some of them, for exaple OFWAT or OFFCOM priovide functions that are vital to the British public.

    To the point that if you scrap them they will inevitably and expensively have to be replaced.

    This idea that all Quangos are bad is dumbed-down tabloid nonsense.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Horse - AGREED


  • Comment number 84.

    56. At 1:31pm on 14 Oct 2010, Neil wrote:

    I'm still waiting for a Leftie (the alternative to Tory for the mediators) to suggest a meaningful way of tackling the deficit that doesn't involve such punitive taxes that businesses move overseas.

    ---

    Well i'm not a leftie, more of a Randian liberal but I do believe that the swinging nature of the cuts is down to party political reasons.

    Simply put I believe the current government are working to a 5 year plan , during which which massive cuts, causing huge pain to the public (and in areas like policing and health services actual damage to the fabric of society) will cause a quick, big reduction in the deficit, so that in 5 years time they will be able to demonstrate that UK is now in recovery and that the current government is worth re-electing.

    I also believe that if the political parties were not working to that timetable they could achieve the same result and perhaps a better, more stable economy, over a 10 year period without inflicting anywhere near the same amount of damage to public services or British society in general.

    That would of course involve putting the public interest before that of the political party, something that no British political party has ever shown itself prepared to do.

  • Comment number 85.

    At 1:31pm on 14 Oct 2010, Vangelis wrote:
    Archive question

    Should quangos be abolished?
    12:00 UK time, Friday, 24 September 2010

    Proposals to scrap 180 quangos and merge a further 124 have been seen by the BBC's Politics Show. What is your reaction to the list?
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Todays question.

    Should quangos be cut?
    11:19 UK time, Thursday, 14 October 2010

    Over 190 quangos - organisations funded by government but not run by it - are to either be abolished or have their functions taken over by the government or other bodies. Is this the right decision?




    It seems HYS are so bereft of worthy topics for public debate, they are raiding the archives and recycling old debates by changing one word in the question and pretending it is a new topic.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    HYS

    ------The raiders of the lost archives?




  • Comment number 86.

    70. At 1:49pm on 14 Oct 2010, corncobuk wrote:
    44. At 1:17pm on 14 Oct 2010, Horse wrote:

    31. At 12:53pm on 14 Oct 2010, One in a million wrote:
    Is this a rhetorical question? Can you imagine this sort of thing in the private sector?

    -----

    Nope - thats why you need independant bodies like OFFWAT regulating the quality of the drinking water which private companies process.

    Or do think that the private companies would maintain drinking water quality withouth supervision, at the cost of their own profits?

    After all UK drinking water is way above the mimimum quality described by EU regulations.

    There's obviously room for an overall downgrading of the quality the water supplied to our homes....

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    You only have to look at the enourmous damage unsupervised banks did to know the answer to that one Horse. Unaccountability only produces profit driven inferior services.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Which is what the Tories are all about.

  • Comment number 87.

    Some should, absolutely. The Government Hospitality Advisory Committee on the purchase of Wines for example. Apparently there's a government wine cellar with alomost £800k of stock. Why?! (http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200809/cmhansrd/cm090428/text/90428w0014.htm%29

    However, careful consideration needs to go into looking after those who find themselves without work. I wouldn't put it past this regime to just toss them out on the streets and wait for the economy to recover.

  • Comment number 88.

    While some quangos may not be of value, doing away with those that serve a useful purpose may be a mistake. For example, it is proposed that some of the Consumer Focus quango's work be given to Citizens Advice. My wife come home yesterday from her volunteer job at our local Citizens Advice bureau to say they may be closed down because of a removal of funding from the (Tory) Council. Is this what David Cameron refers to as his 'big society'?

  • Comment number 89.

    72. At 1:53pm on 14 Oct 2010, JohnH wrote:

    And for calling me a daily fail reader! really! that is an insult too far!

    ---

    I apologise completely and unreservedly.

  • Comment number 90.

    I'm neither for nor against 'Quangos'. You can certainly put a very fair argument forward for why some shouldn't have been set up in the first place, BUT the point is they do exist and many people on HYS clearly need to be educated on the consequences of obilishing/merging/scaling down 'quangos':

    I don't know what the exact figure is, but I'll guess that various 'quangos' employee tens of thousands of people between them, maybe more. Yes, all these people do have to be paid and that's where the cost saving comes in...BUT this means making thousands of people redundant, and where do you think they're going to go - many to the dole que of course, so more is going to be paid out in benefits. Then of course you're going to loose their tax and NI contributions. The brittle economy will also suffer as those made redundant spend less with little or no income, and before you know it we'll be back into deep recession.

    This is why other partys and experts have been arguing that although cuts do have to be made (everyone agrees on this), it needs to be done very carefully so not to further destabelise a fragile economy. The proposals made by the coalition govt are just too much, too fast and too deep.

  • Comment number 91.

    55. At 1:31pm on 14 Oct 2010, Vangelis wrote:
    Archive question

    ....It seems HYS are so bereft of worthy topics for public debate, they are raiding the archives and recycling old debates by changing one word in the question and pretending it is a new topic.
    -------------------------------------------------

    Why not?

    Lots of HYSers recycle their answers regardless of the topic of discussion.






  • Comment number 92.

    I thought the General Teaching Council was to go... yet yesterday my dearly beloved received a demand for next year's subscription. He's not got anything for the money he's paid while it's been in existence, so what on earth do they need money for now they're going?

  • Comment number 93.

    @corncobuk

    "Here`s a thought? They say capitalism is good as it enriches our lives to buy that which we would otherwise have to go without. Apparently we`re far better off now than we ever were."


    Undoubtedly, you only have to compare us to what our country was like just a mere 100 years ago. We are living far longer and we work far less (people used to spend half their waking lives working and now the average is 40 hours a week) for far more money than they ever use to earn.

    That's not even mentioning that societies that have fully embraced Capitalism such as the USA, Japan and Germany are the richest, most technologically advanced nations in the world.


    "Yet, from my perspective, we are more miserable now than we have ever been. Why is that?"


    Sheer stupidity, ignorance of history, self-serving delusions, dogma acquired from parents brainwashing their children, people who allow their pathetic little ideologies to trump actual experience and reality - take your pick.

  • Comment number 94.

    A lot of this is just political slight of hand.

    Many of the medical quangos will be abolished (huge cheer from ConDems).

    Most will be replaced by a health service committee of experts.

    Hmm.

    Isn't that really what a quango is ?

    So the major effect is a bit of name changing, and a temporary disruption in activities whilst the new structure sorts itself out. Or, in othjer words, a small additional expense and a 6month period of inefficiancy.

    Well worth doing for that big cheer.

  • Comment number 95.

    76. At 2:02pm on 14 Oct 2010, Dave wrote:

    The problem with Guardian "readers is, that no matter how many times they have it explained to them, they can't seem to get it into their heads" that they have not considered the benefits of mergers between OFWAT, OFFCOM and OFGEM; cutting the higher management and giving a consistent message for all Utility services providers.

    ___

    The end result of such a merger, being, of course, another QUANGO.

    Albeit one far,far bigger, much more powerful and more unwieldly (and by implication inefficient) than anything that the coalition is currently thinking of cutting.

    Cutting the number of QUANGOS by making them much bigger.

    Another idea brought to you by the populist right wing....

  • Comment number 96.

    I used to work for one of these 'quangos' a few years ago called the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board. We represented the interests of an industry that was (not sure if still is??) the third biggest contributer to Britain's GDP.

    They were a great organisation that also gave fantastic opportunities to young people by recruiting them into apprenticeship programmes and training them up to a high standard.

    It's also worth noting that although they did receive some govt money in the form of subsidies and tax relief, they were actually funded by the industry in the form a levy. The majority of companies (small and big) were happy to pay this levy as the the benefits of doing so were clear. We bascically lobbied and worked to meet UK Engineering Construction Industries training needs...and before you ask me - the vaste majority of apprentices recruited and trained (in their thousands) were British.

    The point is that many of these 'quangos' supply a very good and much needed service and DON'T swallow huge amounts of govt money without significant benefit.

  • Comment number 97.

    Some of them I have never heard of and I have no idea as to what they do. What they do may be vital. I am sure some of them are NOT vital.

    I couldn't see NICE on the list. Is it there? If only one went, definitely that one.

  • Comment number 98.

    Pick which quango you want to save, i am sure cutting the pensioner and frail cold weather payments from £25 per week to £8.50 for every week the temperature falls below zero will help afford to save a few from the axe. Save even more once they take the £8.50 away altogether, as Cameron has suggested. More dead pensioners should help pay for a who raft of them!

  • Comment number 99.

    80. At 2:13pm on 14 Oct 2010, AqualungCumbria wrote:
    Past culls in this area would tend to suggest that it will just be a re badging exercise and a shuffle of the people , there will be job losses but in the long term they will come back stuffed with supporters of the current Government, but under a different heading on the notepaper.

    ####################################

    Badges? We ain't got no badges! We don't need no badges. I don't have to show you any stinkin' badges!

    (sorry I couldn't resist)






  • Comment number 100.

    Yes, but essentially the main quango is that which sits in the chambers of Westminster Palace, cynically and pretentiously called the Houses of Parliament.

    This quango, commonly known as the ConDems, is in position WITHOUT democratic consent.

    It achieved its empowerment of position via obnoxious undemocratic dictatorial rules and laws made by predecessor quangos.

    It is a quango without due loyalty and sustainable purpose to the peoples of Britain and the United Kingdom.

    In my opionion it wholeheartedly has a history steeped in treasonable inept and negligent behaviour.

    It savours and protects to the last, that which provides it with dictatorial empowerment.

    There is NO democracy with this system. It is purely a system of dictate decided upon values and policys and fantasy ideals agreed upon via a tiny minority of people within its own political idealogical bias, and those ideals are formed and put forward by an even small number of hierachy elite.

    In the case of this present ConDem quango, a major part of it, the Lib Dem part, has factually even discarded that which was agreed upon by its own idealogical party members and it has also discarded that which it verbally promised to those it sought to convince to support them with the intention of using those people to achieve position of power. Essentially, it has factually BROKEN its CONTRACT of agreement with electors.

    If this quango was accordingly regulated by the Sale of Goods Act, it would be in serious breach and liable to serious prosecution.

    Yet this quango sets itself ABOVE and BEYOND that which protects the nation from a dodgy supplier selling a tin of cat food as stewing steak.

    There is as MUCH wrong with this UNELECTED quango that sits in Parliament as some of the other attrocious quangos.

    This quango deflects attention from itself by disposing of lower quangos.

    This ConDem quango does NOT have the democratic CONSENT of the electorate to impose itself upon our nation and its people.

    And much of that which it used to persuade those to vote for its members has been abandoned, or replaced with the complete OPPOSITE.

    Hence, the MAIN quango which is MOST responsible for damage to our nation, hides itself away in Westminster Palace and is basically untouchable, because it makes and ENFORCES the RULES to MAINTAIN itself and its position of dictatorial non democratic empowerment.

 

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