The Government has abandoned plans to give ministers sweeping powers to scrap quangos without consulting MPs.
From the Telegraph:
The Public Bodies Bill has been proposed by the Coalition to allow ministers to abolish almost 200 public bodies including the Audit Commission and the Film Council.
It would also give ministers extensive new legal powers to order changes to another 150 public bodies using secondary legislation, meaning they could be abolished without further parliamentary approval.
Such powers are often called “Henry VIII” powers in reference to the Tudor monarch’s autocratic rule.
After a report by the Lords Constitution Committee, which said they would give ministers too much power, Conservative whip Lord Taylor of Holbeach told peers that the controversial schedule would now be dropped:
I can confirm to the House that the government have accepted the arguments that bodies and offices should be listed in the schedules of this Bill only where Parliament has given its consent in primary legislation.
This is welcome news, as David Howarth MP wrote back in November:
The Public Bodies Bill might not presage the end of parliamentary democracy in the way the 2006 Bill did, but it is a sloppy, lazily drafted bill that assumes, just as the 2006 Bill did, that those in power are all good chaps who would never abuse the powers assigned to them. It must be radically amended before it becomes law.