On behalf of 122,000 members of Prospect, General Secretary Paul Noon said the criticisms by the Public Administration Select Committee reflected the views of the union’s own members.
“The government jumped to conclusions with no supporting evidence and no consultation at all with users or staff. It was real Alice in Wonderland stuff – verdict first and sentence afterwards.
“No wonder the government cannot point to where financial savings can be made or value for money for taxpayers.
“This exercise was about cutting jobs and winning easy headlines in the press. It was not about improving services or accountability. As our evidence to the committee showed, the government’s actions will do real damage to a host of scientific and environmental bodies that were specifically set up to protect the public interest in everything from nature conservation to health.”
Noon said the PASC’s comments lent weight to fears that the Public Bodies Bill, now being pushed through Parliament, would give ministers a blank cheque to merge or abolish hundreds more public bodies without any supporting evidence or consultation with service users.
“This Bill must be radically amended to protect the sovereignty of Parliament and to ensure essential public functions are carried out by impartial bodies free from political bias.”
Prospect’s evidence to the PASC can be found in the Prospect document library.