Saturday, 27 March 2010

Quango Bonfire Begins

This week John Swinney, Scotland's Finance Secretary, secured a mandate for sweeping change to Scotland's quango state. The government won a series of knife-edge votes at Holyrood before a thumping endorsement of the overall package.

The package consists of a reduction in the number of quangos from 199 to 161, falling to 120 by next year and representing a savings of some £127 million over the five years from 2008-13 and annual savings of £40m thereafter.

He also won the power to carry out further pruning in the future without the need for primary legislation and he accepted Tory demands for public bodies to become far more transparent about their spending on promotion, travel, hospitality and the use of consultants.

Mr Swinney said: "The Public Services Reform Bill is a crucial part of our work to simplify and improve public services. We must get maximum value for taxpayers' money and the Bill will remove duplication, provide greater clarity for public service users and promote more effective use of resources."

Labour's David Whitton attacked a series of amendments dealing with the Government's desire for flexibility in making further reforms. He called the plans a "power grab" which "usurped the Parliament" and gave ministers "unprecedented powers to act on a whim."

This is welcome news to for Scotland. It's common knowledge that many quangos duplicate aims and objectives and it will be interesting to see which quangos are the first to be dissolved.


Dubbieside said...


Maybe we are going at this the wrong way round.

Maybe we should close all the quangos, then if there is anything that cannot be run by charities, local government or Holyrood then we can reinstate the quangos that we really need.

My guess is that we will not need too many.

CrazyDaisy said...

I support that, burn the Quangos so we have less fake jobs for pals of Liebore - for Broon et al it was easier to create this and punish the hardworking at the lower end of the working scale.

I see Dour man Gray is trying to make on that Salmond is the "Tories' doorman".

Another failure just like Murphy's interview with Fat Brian of the EBC.

Showery here!


Witterings From Witney said...


I could ask about the biggest of the lot - the Scottish Parliament? (no, you know I jest, don't you)

All power to his elbow, but what are the remaining 120 and how many of them could 'go'? Charities are fine, if they are 'charities', but so many aren't as you know - they are no more than pressure groups for govt policies - and funded by govt too!

subrosa said...

Dubbie, that's the way I'd approach it but it would leave far too many unemployed.

Let's face it many quango jobs are jobs for the boys/girls.

subrosa said...

The Tories' doorman? Now that's a good one.

Next they'll be saying Iain Gray is labour's bouncer CD. :)

Dry here now but cold wind.

subrosa said...

Because it's you WFW, yes I know you jest. A wee bit of jealousy there too because England doesn't have their own parliament perhaps too? ;)

That's the next thing we have to see to, these so called charities which are funded by our money.

Dean MacKinnon-Thomson said...

I shall applaud Swinney once he does it. So many of these politicians have promised a post-Quango state. We're still waiting.


subrosa said...

Does Dave intend to do it in England Dean? There are far more south of the border.

Mr. Mxyzptlk said...

The snp torys and the tory torys working hand in glove...whose to tell were the snp ends and the Torys begin??

Good more votes for Labour

JuliaM said...

It's rather like that joke that goes: 'What do you call 200 lawyers at the bottom of the sea?' 'A good start'

subrosa said...

Niko, do you really think the SNP are a right wing party?

subrosa said...

Or two hundred politicians Julia. ;)

Dean MacKinnon-Thomson said...

In regards to Nikko,

The SNP are a centre-left Party[though the education minister is pretty much a closet Tory]

As for Cameron, yep he has promised to deliver a bonfire of the quangoes, but as I sday to Swinney- I'll believe it once it happens!

Dubbieside said...

Lets see Labour try to out tory the torys.

ID cards.
Double starting rate of tax.
Tax thresholds frozen (directly penalises the lowest paid)
Prescription charges increased every year since Labour came to power (as Brown said, an immoral tax on the sick. Mind you he was pretending to be a socialist then.
Gap between rich and poor wider than ever.
Child poverty higher than 13 years ago.
UK pensioners third worst off in Europe, behind even Romania (From Frank Field is he the only socialist left in NuLabour?)

That is why Brown had Thatcher to tea twice. So he could compare his tory policies against hers. She thought his policies were more right wing and extreme than hers, but thats why they both admire each other so much.

Socalist, NuLabour, you could not make it up.

Dubbieside said...


If we scrubbed all the quangos, yes there would be unemployment, but it would be mostly the NuLabour placemen and women on vastly inflated salaries and expenses. I do not think any of them would be missed.

We would still need the workers but they could be redeployed under proper accountable control by government or Holyrood etc.

BTW my comments on charities were based on what Buckhaven Parish Church group achieve in the Eighties at the height of Thatcherism. They got a lot of people off the dole and into work. Know locally as a spell on the god squad.

subrosa said...

That's where the problem lies for the electorate Dubbie, there's no difference among them, although the libdems have a few that differ slightly.

subrosa said...

Buckhaven Parish Church was funded by government as part of the YTS scheme initially I think Dubbie then it received further funding for young vulnerable adults. It wasn't a quango and it was a superb example of what can be done under the right leadership.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Problem with Quango's after the first one fails, twelve are needed to sort out the mess.

Quango's are the bonus pot for public service rejects freed from responsibility, accountability or the demands of relevant ability.

subrosa said...

I think a lot will be amalgamated RA and the savings made that way. The savings aren't vast so none of the fake charities are involved.

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