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Agreed that the regulatory mechanism has comprehensively failed – but it is not Gordon Brown's. The regulatory mechanism(s) are almost completely defined by the European Union as this post makes clear.

There is very little that can be done to change them – apart from making minor "tweaks" - unless a new Conservative government is prepared to confront the EU.

Presumably, he needs an Office for Budget Responsibility because he can't trust Osborne to manage the Treasury.

Or perhaps he has a cousin down on his luck, who needs a job with an appropriate emolument.

What the economy needs is the will and the intelligence to make the necessary changes. Above all it needs fewer Quangos not more.

Is David Cameron proposing another quango? This sounds like a band aid. I hope I am wrong.

And yes regulation is no longer in our gift. Why is it that Cameron - and others - persist in claiming that they can act when they cannot? Unless that is we leave the EU.

Trying to solve government spending and expanding bureaucracy by inventing another government agency sounds a bit too New Labour for my liking.

It's not rocket science- cut spending, cut borrowing and reduce taxes. Budget balances, expenditure 19s6d, result, happiness.

Lindsay: Douglas Carswell MP agrees with you...

He thinks it is a quango:


I'm not so sure.

+For those of us who didn't actually see the programme could we be told please what he said on Lisbon and the referendum. All I know is the comment "Cameron also was very clear on Referendum and Lisbon" from a viewer !!

Is it a a quango? Well, who is going to serve on it, how will they be selected and how much will they be paid?

Wow. A quango. Brilliant stuff from the next Leader of the Free World (EMEA region)

Richard North [11.10]

"There is very little that can be done to change them – apart from making minor "tweaks" - unless a new Conservative government is prepared to confront the EU."

And his future actions in this area will either make or break a Cameron Government...

Thank you editor for the excellent Douglas Carswell link.

Might I suggest that running the Treasury responsibly would do the job - that adding yet another organisation is indeed redundant. That there is a Commons Select Committee with oversight...etc etc.

Perhaps Cameron is thinking as an oppostion not as a government.

Could not agree more with Lindsay, Richard North and others. In every conceivable area the root cause on any impending Governments straightjacket is Europe its non-stop directives which has cost billions over the years and being the second largest contributor to this Union which has no benefit what so ever.
Not so long ago a Politician from the Channel Islands with members of the Commonwealth was shown an area in Birmingham and a town hall official said “we can thank the EU for this wonderful building” The Politician retorted much to the interest of the Commonwealth members “Britain has paid for this building with their contribution to the EU”. Being the second largest contributor and throwing our money into a bottomless pit and adhering to every silly little directive which is costing our country a fortune it should be the right time to consider our position.
If we want Britain to be a successful and thriving economy we will never achieve this by being run by Europe that have not had the auditors sign off for thirteen years. Ask any business person that has got any real entrepreneurial sense and most would say get out and enjoy the freedom of being out of this losing strait jacket take control of your own country.

Would any sane person if they had their time over again want to be in this club called Europe? How rich we would be if we just concentrated on Britain PLC?
Can anybody put up a financial argument for staying in Europe?
Will the Conservative Party if elected ever have the balls to at least consider this option?
There seems to be many people advocating the withdrawal from Europe and just become a trading partner?
Just on financial arguments alone it could be sold to the British people.

Can nobody say WHAT Cameron said about the Referendum on Lisbon Treaty?

As Richard North says "There is very little that can be done to change them – apart from making minor "tweaks" - unless a new Conservative government is prepared to confront the EU.'

This is vital.

We don't need a quango to do this, we just need a goverment with the willpower not to spend more than it obtains through taxation.

I took from the interview that this would be a Government department staffed by civil servants.
It could do the sort of job that the National Statistic Office does not do now.

It would prevent the constant redefining of the economic cycle by politicians like Gordon Brown

Cameron just repeated his mantra of 'something will be done'. Apparently Hague had suggested something more than this yesterday, but let's be clear: it is >99% certain that Cameron will not rock the EU boat at all if/when he forms a (pretend) government. In the meantime there will be a drip feed of cynical kidology from the likes of Hague along the old lines of 'in Europe not run by Europe'.

"A government department staffed by civil servants." That means these people would be taken off whatever they are doing now; new offices, etc. etc. and more civil servants to do their previous jobs.
More mouths to feed in the public sector. Just what we need.

I also wondered about a new quango. And unelected at that? But the BBC link the Ed provides says the body wouldn't have the power to force a Government to act in any particular way. I hope this is reassuring that the body would only comment on the how much the Government is spending rather than on what it is spending on.

Andrew Marr is so pro-Labour it beggers belief. I could barely watch the interview.

For example they were discussing Brown's 2% government spending growth per year. Cameron suggested that this target is responsible and that Brown is not likely to meet it (the government will spend far more). Marr ends that part of the interview by quickly quipping "but he [Brown] will meet it". No he won't Mr Marr you ignoramous!

"We don't need a quango to do this, we just need a goverment with the willpower not to spend more than it obtains through taxation."

Posted by: RichardJ | September 28, 2008 at 12:57

Richard, and everybody else making this point - come back to planet Earth. Do you really see any voter to-day accepting as a political policy, Cameron, or anyone else, putting it your way?

David - Stephen Greenhalgh and team running Hammersmith and Fulham council have cut taxes for the last two years.

They have not set up a quango of more paid civil servants to ensure a financial 'straightjacket'. If they did no doubt our taxes would go up.

Boris Johnson has just announced that London taxes will not go up next year - where is his Office Budget Responsibility? Come to think of it sounds like 1984!

If it is set up independently and can develop quickly and early an ethos as the guardians of tax-payers money then I'm for it. Ideally the ONS would do it but I don't trust them at all. If there is one thing we've learned in the last 11 years is how the government can obfuscate, spin, cover-up and tell bare faced lies about the government's finances and get away with it. The problem is that governments of all parties can do those things and it needs to be severely curtailed. Also part of the problem with our finances now is that the electorate were never given a clear statement of how bad Labour were running the government in the previous years. Sure the Tories and others tried but all of it was easily lost in the Labour party and their allies spin. Part of what we need to keep the government in check is an informed electorate who when armed with indisputable data can harangue polticians to live within their (our) means.

Its not impossible that an OBR might do a good job. That's not the point. It is the Blairite mindset it betrays that is so disappointing, albeit unsurprising.

If we are to bring the budget under control without raising taxes and further crippling our businesses and families then we must cut the bloated wasteful public spending. If we are not to be politically crucified, we must declare health and education sacrosanct and defence needs more if we are to continue in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Ergo we must cut the Quangos all those agencies that spend money with no real function; set up to make it look like some political imperative or shibboleth is being attended to without the necessity or in too many cases the ability of actually doing something useful about the problem.

Such as budgetary control.

Jonathan at 11:15 hits the nail on the head. There should be no need for an additional body if ministers had a good grasp of their brief.

If theres a need for an Office for Budget Responsibility, then theres one simple solution, replace the Chancellor. Clearly Osborne isnt held in much faith by Cameron.

This is not the sort of thing I am looking for at this years Conference. Its time for reality before change can reign. Change for change's sake is of no use to anyone.

I was typing this post when Jonathan posted – I couldn’t agree more. I, too, don’t want to see more quangos – there are too many, and they’re too expensive.

However, I detect a pragmatic aspect to this. Whenever tax cuts are mentioned the Left foam at the mouth, and howl about ‘cuts in public services’. The fact that the Left are very adept at wasting taxpayers’ money on crackpot schemes that often have a detrimental effect seems to have bypassed a lot of the electorate, and they believe the Lefty lie that tax cuts are synonymous with public service cuts. Time for the Conservatives to nail this lie!

Moreover, by setting up this Budget Responsibility Office, it’s a way of keeping tabs on public spending [an anathema to the Left] – and foregrounding how taxpayers’ money is being spent. Then – hopefully – we can stop the ‘tax and squander’ ethos of this government of all the Comrades.

This is a gimmick rather than a serious policy.

Does this body not already cover this function? Or is it not as independent as it claims and was supposedly set up to be?
It claims to oversee the ONS already. Why do we need another one?


The UK Statistics Authority is an independent body operating at arm's length from government as a non-ministerial department, directly accountable to Parliament. It was established on 1 April 2008 by the 'Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007'.

The OBR would be relying on this or producing its own figures?

Snegchui – surely the UK Statistics Authority is for statistics - and we all know Disraeli’s famous quote on that subject! From the link to the Bolshevik Broadcasting Corporation the relevant part of the story is:

“The Tories would set up an independent organisation, the Office of Budget Responsibility, that would act as a watchdog on all public spending and borrowing.

“It would produce the country's economic forecasts, instead of the chancellor on Budget Day, and a full audit of all of the nation's borrowing, Mr Cameron said.

“The body - which would not have powers to force a government to act in a particular way but would have the power to embarrass - would set a target date for Britain's budget to be balanced and publish public reports on progress.”

LINK: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7640179.stm

I take the key phrases to be: “watchdog on all public spending and borrowing”, ” a full audit of all of the nation's borrowing”, having “the power to embarrass” – and setting “a target date for Britain's budget to be balanced and publish public reports on progress.”

Can you imagine if this were implemented now – the government of all the Comrades would go collectively red in the face – so much, they could light the National Grid [now there’s an idea!].

the Conservative commitment to establish a new Office of Budget Responsibility.

Good. I don't want to be reassured that this time "the right people" will be in charge.

I want a system that has some chance of working whichever people are in charge.

Especially given the eternal political pressure to raise spending.

National Health Service in England - divided and run by quangos.
Inland Revenue and Customs - run by quangos.
Local government - run by quangos.
Prison Servic - run by quangos.
Probation service - run by quangos.
Education in England - run by quangos.
Europe - run by quangos.

All of the above, and more, should be the responsibilty of the men and women that were elected by the voters to take that responsibility, when something goes wrong it is now the done thing to pass the blame onto the relevant quango none of which are elected, accountable nor, more importantly, identifiable.
If these representatives will not shoulder these responsibilities they should make it clear before they put them selves up for election. Cameron has done this by stating that all future financial oversight will be carried out by - yes a Fecking quango.
Looks like I'm going to have to spoil my ballot paper again.

On another topic - the European Union.
Is Cameron suggesting that, on election, he will be able to change the existing regulatory mechanisms?, many of you reading and posting on this forum and who know the influence of the EU on such matters are keeping quiet either because you are party stalwarts or deceitful.
Only France, Germany and Italy can get away with flouting EU "rules".
But Cameron et al refuses to discuss "Europe".

All of the above, and more, should be the responsibilty of the men and women that were elected by the voters to take that responsibility, when something goes wrong it is now the done thing to pass the blame onto the relevant quango none
The best way to reduce the number of Quangos is to reduce what government does, the fact is that generally government has not been directly involved in the day to day running of Public Sector organisations in the UK, the USSR did that sort of thing which is why it got in such an awful mess, various organisations always had independent Boards, indeed Health used not to have a cabinet minister, the used to be a Board of Health, Board of Education - far from Stalinist ideas such as direct political control, the answer is to look at ways of seperating large numbers of public sector organisations from the state and from state funding whether by mutualisation, transferral to a not for profit private company\charity limited by guarantee; or sale whether partial or wholesale.

Commercialisation of public sector organisations charging for services for many people to cross subsidise others prior to transferral to the private or third sector.

It's just a game so they don't have to take as much political heat from the party on tax cuts and from others on spending increases. That is what they are all about this crew, playing games to get and hold on to want they really want, which is power.

Britain is like the Titanic sinking because it has a colossal hole in the side caused by the iceberg EU.

Unfortunately, Cameron has looked at the problem and decided that the solution is that the ship needs new management.

No David, we need to fix the bloody great big hole in the side!

I've got to say that Douglas Carswell is rapidly becoming my most favourite Tory. Unfortunately, no matter how much Douglas and Dan lean over the side of the ship and point at the gaping hole, Cameron refsues to hear their cries.

It is great we will soon have a Tory administration...BUT

With the state of the economy and the country we need some gravitas - a Ken Clark, Rifkind, William Hague...

The more I see of Cameron the more I am convinced he will be worse than the awful Mr Broon...

Boris Johnston will challenge before the end of the 1st term of our new Conservative administration....

PR can only get you so far - you need sound judgement and a steely backbone

More evidence of "Dolly" Draper's rebuttal unit swinging into action revealing trolls who’ve strayed from Labour Home – viz. “Bullingdonian” [yawn - how may times do Lefties use this name!], and “Northern Tory” who obviously isn’t a “Tory”!

I want tax cuts. And I want my party run by people who have real experience of life.

We used to have both. Now we have neither.

If there aren’t any tax cuts that’s the fault of the government of all the Comrades – I suggest “Bullingdonian” goes to Labour Home and airs his complaints to the culprits.

Tax cuts almost always bring in more money anyway, and we want to get to them as soon as we can.
The trouble with a rapidly deteriorating PSBR (Look at 1990 to 1993), is that if you promise a bigger one from near day 1, the markets and city will go into fright.

So we have to set out the direction, and move to them in a co-ordinated way.

People such as Ruth Leigh, and David Davis all want tax cuts, but acknowledge we're in a very serious black hole with the finances on day 1.

Which isn't a problem for the Liberals.

100s of bns of pounds are being found to prop up the ailing "free market" - tax payer's money.
Yet you still maintain that there is no money left, I think I'm right in quoting George "there is no more money", as soon as one of his banking oppos shouts "help" he will stump up.

Yet another anon at 2.15.
You erroneously equate responsibility with interference, I want to know who is responsible when things go wrong just as I want to know who is responsible when things go right, unfortunately there would seem to more of the former than of the latter. You also know that as long as we are tied to Europe there is nothing that the national government can do about it. You, sir, are one of the deceitful ones.

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