Good news as number of ministers put under the spotlight

The Evening Standard has reported:

The Commons public administration committee, chaired by Conservative MP Bernard Jenkin, has launched an inquiry into “What ministers do?”

The MPs are investigating whether there are too many ministers, what they actually do, whether they should be appointed from Parliament or outside and the impact that the number of ministers has on the public purse and effective government if the number of MPs is cut from 650 to 600.

Mr Jenkin added: “Clearly if the House of Commons gets smaller and the number of paid ministers increases or stays the same, it means that the Government increases its control over the Commons which is meant to hold the Government to account.”

The last point is key: we get better government and better public services when Parliament can hold the government to account rather than be in thrall to it.

You can read the full story here.

Read more by or more about or .
This entry was posted in Parliament.
Bookmark the web address for this page or use the short url http://ldv.org.uk/21129 for Twitter and emails.

6 Comments

  • Rabi Martins 15th Sep '10 - 10:33am

    I cant help but agree with the Mr Jenkin acomment : “Clearly if the House of Commons gets smaller and the number of paid ministers increases or stays the same, it means that the Government increases its control over the Commons which is meant to hold the Government to account. The last point is key: we get better government and better public services when Parliament can hold the government to account rather than be in thrall to it.

    I have also felt that the Party was wrong to take on so many junior ministerial positions. We should have stopped at the Cabinet posts and a couple of key ministerial positions where Liberal Democrats policies were being adopted

    That would have left us with enough back bench MPs to challenge the government. As it happens most of our senior MPs are tied to collective responsibility and effectively gagged. Not good for democracy and certanily not good for advancing the Liberal Democrats agenda

  • Entirely agree. Surely nobody (especially Liberal Democrats) wants an even stronger Executive and a weaker legislature? Yet, unless the proposal to cut the number of MPs is scrapped or the number of Ministers is reduced, that will be the effect of these reforms.

  • If the Government is serious about prioritising to the extent it will be able to reduce Whitehall staff by 25-40%, it will need to make a similarly large cut to the number of Ministers – Ministers generate huge amounts of work because they’re keen to make names for themselves.

    If you can’t cut Ministers by 40% then I strongly doubt that you can cut the officials who serve them directly by a significant number without (even more) half-baked schemes that end up costing the taxpayer ridiculous amounts because the risks and issues haven’t been worked through properly.

  • Terry Gilbert 16th Sep '10 - 10:18am

    @ Rabi – from the point of view of the party leadership, it makes perfect sense to take so many junior ministerial positions. It helps to ensure loyalty to a Government that many long serving party members and workers have deep reservations about.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?




Recent Comments

  • User AvatarAlex Dingwall 1st Sep - 9:28pm
    This really is the problem with our leadership. We are not close, or even remotely close to a Federal UK. It is not on the...
  • User AvatarMr Wallace 1st Sep - 9:28pm
    OK, so what specific powers are being promised immediately after a no vote? The problem for me is whilst I'd take devo-max over full blown...
  • User AvatarSarah Whitebread 1st Sep - 9:25pm
    The irony of someone saying "big picture folks" when arguing for us to put short term economic objectives ahead of the need to tackle climate...
  • User AvatarChris Greaves 1st Sep - 9:11pm
    I agree with the thrust of the article. As was said above: "big picture folks". Unless we take steps to encourage continued growth/recovery in the...
  • User AvatarAnthony Vaughan 1st Sep - 8:54pm
    Well I didn't expect the need to point out that this was not a thesis for a PhD in Liberal Democrat Membership, it is a...
  • User AvatarRichard Duncalf 1st Sep - 8:45pm
    I went on a British Youth Council Delegation to Yugoslavia, way back in 1980 with Simon - when I belonged to another Political Youth Organisation...