Union pours cold water on quango bonfire

Union pours cold water on quango bonfire

Public service professionals have hit back at the government’s plans to abolish 177 public bodies in a bonfire of the quangos.

They warned that the Government’s plans are being rushed through without proper study, any consultation with users or evaluation of the consequences.

Dai Hudd, Deputy General Secretary of the 122,000-strong professionals’ union Prospect, said that the great majority of the decisions would not save any public money as their functions would still have to be carried out.

“Most of them perform statutory functions which will can only be stopped by passing legislation or requiring civil service departments to take on the work just as they are about to face cuts of 25% or 40%.

“These bodies do valuable specialist work in fields like the environment, heritage, health and science and technology. They were set up so they could focus on specialist work free from political interference.

Now the responsibility for everything from farm animal genetics to herbal medicines and advice on BSE will be back on ministers’ desks.

“The announcement of their abolition through the media rather than to parliament is an insult to staff and users and makes a mockery of the Government’s claims to introduce a new politics.

“For staff, whose jobs are being cut, whose pay has been frozen, whose redundancy compensation is being halved and whose pensions are next for the axe, this treatment is not just unfair, it is immoral.”