Francis Maude’s ‘clampdown’ on Quangos is not what it seems

Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, has today claimed that the Government has reduced the number of quangos, or non-government public bodies.

Responding to the claims, Jon Trickett MP, Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Office Minister, said:

“This so-called clampdown is not what it seems. The true picture of David Cameron’s government is of a failed economic plan which has delivered a double-dip recession and £150 billion more borrowing than they planned.

Far from cutting bureaucracy they’ve launched an unwanted and wasteful and upheaval of the NHS, creating a new NHS Commissioning Board, which David Cameron has been warned “could turn into the greatest quango in the sky” while the NHS is losing nurses at a rate of 200 per month.

“This out of touch Tory-led Government’s failures are costing this country dear.”

The new NHS Commissioning Board is just one of a number of new quangos set up by this Government, with estimated costs of  over £80 billion, dwarfing the £2.5 billion savings Francis Maude has estimated from the reduction of existing quangos.

Editor’s notes:

•  Monthly NHS Hospital and Community Health Service (HCHS) Workforce Statistics in England – May 2012, released today by the NHS Information Centre show that the NHS has lost 4,823 nurses since the election. In May 2010 there were 281,431 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) qualified nurses working in the NHS. Today’s figures show that this has fallen to 276,608.

A monthly time series can be found here: http://www.ic.nhs.uk/statistics-and-data-collections/workforce/nhs-staff-numbers/monthly-nhs-hospital-and-community-health-service-hchs-workforce-statistics-in-england–may-2012-provisional-statistics

• Sir David Nicholson has raised concerns that ‘The NHS Commissioning Board could become the greatest quango in the sky’: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-19338344

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