Amidst all the debate about whether the government has culled enough quangos, and as we await news of how much money they will save from the changes, there are some welcome developments. The government does seem to be against spending our money on creating or sustaining public bodies whose task is to lobby the government.
In a Parliamentary democracy people already pay their money to have a voice. They each have an MP who can be their voice when they wish to make a point to governemnt. They are also invited to send in their views on particular issues as they arise, by governments who open consultations, issue Green and White Papers and make themselves available to listen to view points. Many MPs in the Commons specialise in particular subjects, acting as a further national voice for particular views and interest groups. Some people, charities and national organisations speak up for groups of people, or take up the cases of those who would find it difficult to do it for themselves.
I am glad to see the back of the Regional Development Agencies confirmed. I do not wish to see the South East re-create one by the back door – there should be some real savings from the abolition. I do not mourn the end of the Youth Jutsice Board, the Audit Commission or the Agricultural Wages Boards.
I also look forward to some of the mergers. Not only should they produce savings, but they should also function better. Merging the Office of Fair Trading with the Competition Commission should mean quicker results from enquiries, and the ending of what amounts to two enquiries on the same issue each time.