Tag Archives: quangos

Opinion: Should we be concerned about the Government’s attempted quangocide?

Quangos – Quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisations – occupy a strange place in the British political landscape. They tend to proliferate because governments can’t resist seeing new commissions for this or advisory panels for that as essential, while rarely deciding that existing bodies have outlived their usefulness. Yet, the term “quango” inhabits the same discursive space as “bureaucracy”. There is an engrained association with waste, inefficiency, red tape and pointless interfering. In many people’s minds, and frequently in political rhetoric, “quango = bad” by definition. (For a discussion of a similar equation regarding bureaucracy, see here on my blog.) So, the …

Posted in Op-eds and Parliament | Also tagged and | 7 Comments

The Office of Tax Simplification is on its way

A Treasury press release tells us:

The Chancellor George Osborne and Exchequer Secretary David Gauke today established the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS).

The Chancellor has appointed a Board of tax experts who will be responsible for leading the work of the OTS over the next year. The Board Members are Michael Jack (Chairman) and John Whiting (Tax Director).

Their responsibilities will be to identify areas where complexities in the tax system for both businesses and individual taxpayers can be reduced and to publish their findings for the Chancellor to consider ahead of his Budget.

The OTS will undertake two initial reviews over the

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 13 Comments

A new Conservative quango I quite like

Despite their professed enthusiasm for having a bonfire of the quangos, in practice the Conservative Party keep on announcing new ones – and have rather run in to trouble when pressed to explain what’s going on the bonfire (both points I wrote about here).

The tally of new quangos the Conservatives is now at least 19, which sits rather oddly with the rhetoric about culling them. However, that doesn’t mean all the individual proposals are bad ones.

One in particular which appeals to me is an Office of Tax Simplification.

Regular readers may have noticed my love of tangling with bureaucracy. (I …

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All aboard the new quango train, Conservative Party style

Toot toot! Hold tight! Another one coming on board the quango express.

It’s another new quango promised by the Conservatives with, as the Telegraph has reported,

Nick Herbert, shadow minister for farming and environment, promising a farmers’ conference that a future Conservative government will implement the Competition Commission’s recommendation to create an ombudsman to rule on disputes between supermarkets and their suppliers. That is one more quango to add to the already long list: perhaps they should call it Offtrolley.

Ah, you say. But that’s an ok quango. Surely there’s room for a bit of flexibility?

Only problem is, it’s an awful lot …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 2 Comments

Philip Hammond and the ‘Bonfire of the Quangos’

The Tories’ shadow chief secretary to the treasury Philip Hammond has been talent-spotted in the recent past both by ConservativeHome.com and by PoliticalBetting.com’s Mike Smithson.

So I rather suspect he will try and forget as quickly as possible his disastrous performance on BBC2’s The Daily Politics yesterday, when he was quizzed by Andrew Neil on his party’s plans to light a ‘Bonfire of the Quangos’. The four-minute interview begins about two minutes into the clip and you can watch it by CLICKING HERE. (I’d advise switching off promptly at the 6:30 mins mark if you want to …

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