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The Government should publicise the running total of the quangos it's scrapping

By Paul Goodman

Screen shot 2010-07-24 at 16.21.59 James Kirkup's profile of Francis Maude in today's Telegraph suggested that the Government's inherited a list of quangos from Labour, and that the Cabinet Office Minister is mulling over which ones to scrap.  I'm sure that Maude's "got a little list", like Ko-Ko in the Mikado, but it's worth grasping that some have gone already.

Buried away in an interview which Vince Cable recently gave to the Independent was the following information: "...we are taking many steps to make the UK more competitive; lower corporation tax and deregulation – 17 of the 78 quangos have gone, and we should have cut a third by the end of the year – are part of this."

The Guardian picked the story up a few days later.  I was told recently that Maude is shortly to decide how many quangos should remain, and axe any in his way until he reaches the magic number.  This is hard to reconcile with the more sensible approach set out above - namely, to examine each one with a critical eye.

We'll have a clearer idea of how many are left by the end of the spending round.  In the meanwhile, why doesn't the Cabinet Office publicise the full list, with regular updates of those that have been put to the sword?  As I've warned before, the quangos will resist by fair means and foul.  But if Ministers have a good story to tell, they should be telling it.



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