PM urged to oversee ‘value for money’ test on quangos costing £206billion a year


BORIS Johnson must oversee a ‘Value For Money’ test for quangos which now cost an eye-watering £206 BILLION a year.

Hundreds of agencies, regulators and public bodies now cost the public purse £3 billion more for the arms-length bodies.

Boris Johnson has been urged to cut back on bloated public spending

Twenty thousand more people are employed by the 295 organisations despite there being six less than the year before.

Documents revealing the extent of the “arms-length” superstate were published by the Cabinet Office at the end of July as MPs entered summer recess.

The extraordinary costs come as Ministers this week decided to abolish executive agency Public Health England to create a new health protection body.

Exam regulator Ofqual, a non-Ministerial department, has also faced major criticism over their handling of the A-Level and GCSE results.

The Whitehall document shows there are 39 executive agencies, 235 non-departmental bodies and 20 non-Ministerial departments.

Figures show two of the arm’s length bodies NHS England and the Education and Skills Funding Agency account for 83 per cent of the overall spend.

Cabinet Office guidance back in 2018 revealed the arms-length bodies should only be set up as a “last resort” when all other delivery mechanisms have been “exhausted”.

David Cameron ordered the “bonfire of the quangos” to cut the number of such organisations.

John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “With bureaucratic bodies costing ever more each year, taxpayers can see it’s time to trim the quangocracy.

“Many of these bodies are wasteful and unnecessary, spending cash with little to no accountability, yet allowing politicians to palm off major decisions that affect our lives.

“Now is the time to clean up the state and prune these pricey pen pushers.”

Iain Duncan Smith has urged the PM to make a quango purge

But Tory MP Sir Iain Duncan Smith, writing in HOAR on Sunday, said these bodies need to provide value for money.

He said: “There are too many semi-detached government bodies exercising significant control over the way we live our lives and at high cost.

“It is time we re-appraised how government should work and lit a bonfire under many in this list.

“Governments are elected to take responsibility for what happens on their watch and Ministers should shoulder that responsibility and not shirk it.

“Instead of moaning about the decisions taken by such bodies we need to reform the system.”

A Cabinet Office spokesperson said: “It is important that public bodies are efficient and effective in delivering the government’s agenda.

“This government has made clear in the Comprehensive Spending Review that all parts of the public sector, including arms length bodies, will need to rise to that challenge.”

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