How many new Quangos has Cameron announced?


by Sunny Hundal    
9:30 am - January 6th 2010

      Share on Tumblr

David Cameron promised a ‘bonfire of the Quangos’ last year when he attacked Labour for making people “feel so powerless”.

This week on Liberal Conspiracy we’re launching Cameron’s Quango Watch, given the party has finally started announcing some policies.

New Quango no. 1:

“We will introduce a [supermarket] ombudsman to curb abuses of power which undermine our farmers and act against the long-term interest of consumers,” Nick Herbert, shadow minister for farming and environment told a farming conference here.

Sounds like a good idea, but it’s still a new quango.

New Quango no. 2:

To make sure the NHS is funded on the basis of clinical need, not political expediency, we will create an independent NHS board to allocate resources to different parts of the country and make access to the NHS more equal. (Page 8)

Only yesterday the Conservatives were arguing for more political interference just before they argued against it.

So that’s two new quangos so far. Please let us know if you spot any more.

Update: New Quango no. 3

“George Osborne, the shadow chancellor, outlined plans on Tuesday to keep a future Tory government on a strict path to cutting the £178bn deficit, including the creation of a new three-person “budget responsibility committee” to police his plans… The Tory plan would see the creation of an office of budget responsibility, producing medium-term borrowing forecasts, making official recommendations for fiscal policy and assessing the UK’s fiscal sustainability over 50 years.” – FT

(via Rosie in the comments)

    Share on Tumblr   submit to reddit  


About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
· Other posts by


Story Filed Under: News

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Reader comments


“George Osborne, the shadow chancellor, outlined plans on Tuesday to keep a future Tory government on a strict path to cutting the £178bn deficit, including the creation of a new three-person “budget responsibility committee” to police his plans… The Tory plan would see the creation of an office of budget responsibility, producing medium-term borrowing forecasts, making official recommendations for fiscal policy and assessing the UK’s fiscal sustainability over 50 years.” – FT

2 new isn’t the same as 2 extra.

The Tories will abolish 3 or 4 old quamngos for every new one they create.

So, fewer quangos overall.

Simple, really.

You really should stop claiming there are contradictions where there aren’t: people will think you have no imagination if you carry on like this.

Quango 1 looks rather, erm, “Big Government”, doesn’t it? I though that entrepreneurs and free individuals in the market were supposed to sort these things out?

@2

Prove it! How come you haven’t come here with examples of 6 or 8 Quangos to be abolished by Cameron to make up for the two he wants to setup?

Bloom – the problem is that all the noise the Tories keep making is that ‘Quangos are Eeeeeevill!!!!’, so creating new ones doesn’t look like a balance against abolishing others. Moreover, if they did abolish a couple of minor quangos, would that balance something as significant (and potentially rather large) as Osborne’s ‘Office for Budget Responsibility’? And lastly, is that balance across Westminster as a whole, or just within a particular department?

Cameron has himself announced the QCDA is for the chop. Spelman pledged last year to get rid of all regional housing and planning quangos. The Taxpayers Alliance bang on about it all the time. The CPS have a hit list of 5 education quangos. And the folks at the Spectator want a cull:

http://www.spectator.co.uk/essays/all/5302451/dave-cant-govern-unless-he-destroys-the-quangos.thtml

I don’t detect any lack of will to cut quangos in Tory ranks.

Although Osborne’s O4BR would have to be independent and free standing, a supermarket ombudsman needn’t be more than a few officials working out of the Office of Fair Trading.

Cameron is turning into a very odd fellow with his politics and that poster of him looking at us is a kinda creepy.

I can feel a quango watch coming on, a bit of Tory hypocrisy is always a treat, as is watching the defenders of it wiggle and squirm.

Ah now, there’s a challenge.

One off top of my head for starters:

That one that will independently oversee all international aid in a way thatr, apparently, politicians can’t (their international aid ‘green paper’ – travelling so can’t give link).

“New Quango no. 3 – a new three-person ‘budget responsibility committee’”

This is an outstanding example of a totally unnecessary Quango.

Given the number of existing, hugely competent and fiercely independent sources of expert commentary on the British economy and government economic policy, an informed observer of the political scene can only wonder at the motivation.

Is it because George Osborne is just ignorant – he graduated in history from Oxford – or is there some undisclosed sinister intent to ensure continuing ideologically compliant commentary on the fiscal policy of a Conservative government.

As for sources of existing, independent commentary on fiscal policy and other economic policies of governments, consider this modest selection:

The Institute for Fiscal Studies, NIESR and the Item Club – the last uses HM Treasury’s own forecasting model of the British economy but inputs its own policy assumptions to make Club forecasts – as well as the lead economic commentators in the FT and from academia and related think-tanks, such as Oxford Economic Forecasting and Cambridge Econometrics.

Larry Summers, Director of the US National Economic Council, has described Martin Wolf, the lead economics commentator of the FT, as “the world’s pre-eminent financial journalist”.

HM Treasury publishes a regular monthly survey of some 20 or so, independent forecasting models of the British economy, often with related commentaries. More than half come from teams of economists working for the big financial institutions in the City. This is the most recently published survey:
http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/d/200912forcomp.pdf

With all that, why do we need a new Quango to comment on the fiscal policies of a Conservative government?

11. Charlieman

@2 Bloom: “The Tories will abolish 3 or 4 old quamngos for every new one they create.”

I’d like to take that on face value. I’ll put my scepticism temporarily aside when the Conservatives put that in writing.

And laws, too. If the Conservatives wish to introduce a new law, they should abolish four old ones beforehand. Beforehand, not afterwards.

I’ll wait.

And Labour has setup at least 111 since 1997.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4255709.stm

You lose.

You’ve only found 3 new quangos so far? The Daily Politics says 17:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/the_daily_politics/8136298.stm

(I’d also be interested to know why a Office for Budget Responsibility is needed, when we already have the National Audit Office.)

But anyway, I hate to be a spoilsport, but Cameron didn’t actually call for a “bonfire of the quangos”:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/nickrobinson/2009/07/has_the_bonfire_gone_out.html

But that doesn’t distract from your overall point, which is that Cameron promised to reduce their number.

“And Labour has setup at least 111 since 1997.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4255709.stm

Maybe true. Maybe not. But notice that article shows the quite obvious signs of being PR-driven churnalism. I don’t think you can reliably trust that statistic.

“You lose.”

It’s not a competition. The Conservatives have promised to cut the number of quangos, and yet their specific proposals look set to do the opposite. Whether or not the Conservatives are hypocrites on this or not is surely independent of anything Labour have done.

@Alex:

‘Whether or not the Conservatives are hypocrites on this or not is surely independent of anything Labour have done.’

The Conservatives simply said they’d cut the total number of quangos. They didn’t ever say that under no circumstances would they ever create another quango.

It’s easy.

And the 18+ quangos they want to get rid of are….?

@Alex:

‘I don’t think you can reliably trust that statistic’

Ok, it’s the BBC from 2005, I’ll take that as a fairly reliable resource but I’m interested to see any other accounts.

Oh look. The Times says 752 is all non-departmental public bodies are included:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article626687.ece

and look at this: ‘Dan Lewis, director of the Efficiency in Government Unit, calculates that 111 quangos have been created under Labour. ‘

You have any figures countering this, do you?

I find it strange that no-one has saw fit to debate the merits of the supermarket QANGO. Surely this goes against everything the Tories stand for? Sunny, surely this has to merit a post in its own right?

FWIW I find that one creepy!

Ok, it’s the BBC from 2005, I’ll take that as a fairly reliable resource

Do you know what “PR-driven churnalism” means?

Clue: where did the BBC get the number 111 from?

Oh look. The Times says 752 is all non-departmental public bodies are included:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article626687.ece

and look at this: ‘Dan Lewis, director of the Efficiency in Government Unit, calculates that 111 quangos have been created under Labour. ‘

So you’re now relying on an article in the Times which contradicts itself. Is it 111 new quangos? Or 752? Or something completely different? Come on, which is it?

And I should point out that the source for the 111 number in the Times article is from exactly the same source as in the BBC article, and thus is just as unreliable.

Plus the 752 number comes from someone called “William Norton”. When you find out who he is, maybe you’ll see that that figure is also probably unreliable.

You have any figures countering this, do you?

Why do I need figures countering this? I’m not making a claim about how many quangos Labour has created, in fact I specifically said above in response to the 111 figure “Maybe true. Maybe not.”

You’re the one making the empirical claim, how about you provide reliable evidence to back up your claim, and not PR-driven churnalism?

And when you’ve done that, you can tell me exactly how Labour’s record on quangos is of any relevance to anything being discussed here. Or is this just classic diversionary trolling?

“Surely this goes against everything the Tories stand for?”

I think it has something to do with Phillip Blond.

Heh.

Also, I forgot to point out that I meant ‘quangos announced this week’ than in general.

But we’re on the lookout for new quangos so please contact us if you hear of any more!


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Stephen Tall

    RT @libcon: :: How many new Quangos has Cameron announced? http://bit.ly/7zpsvq

  2. thabet

    The New Tory Party RT @libcon: :: How many new Quangos has Cameron announced? http://bit.ly/7zpsvq

  3. Lesley Bruce

    RT @libcon: :: How many new Quangos has Cameron announced? http://bit.ly/7zpsvq

  4. vikz

    Interesting to watch – How many new Quangos has Cameron announced? http://bit.ly/8RZzpv (via feedly)

  5. Liberal Conspiracy

    :: How many new Quangos has Cameron announced? http://bit.ly/7zpsvq

  6. Tweets that mention Liberal Conspiracy » How many new Quangos has Cameron announced? -- Topsy.com

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Liberal Conspiracy, Stephen Tall. Stephen Tall said: RT @libcon: :: How many new Quangos has Cameron announced? http://bit.ly/7zpsvq [...]

  7. David Jones

    Cameron has announced 3 new quangos. Labour has created 111 http://bit.ly/5SARtz http://bit.ly/5SARtz





Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.