During yesterday’s little reported autocued speech to the CBI, Starmer announced that Labour “will establish an Office for Value for Money, to chase down every penny we spend”. Ironically Starmer’s office has not given any indication how much this “Value for Money Office” will cost the taxpayer…
It was not a new announcement, at this year’s Labour Party conference Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves first raised the idea of a new quango:
“Labour will create a new, independent Office for Value for Money. It will be tasked with keeping a watchful eye on how public money is spent and equipped with meaningful powers so no government is allowed to mark its own homework. I do not take lightly the responsibility to see that public money is spent wisely and our public finances kept under control.”
With no official figures Guido can only assume that Labour will be as reckless with this quango as they have been with their previously proposed semi-public bodies. During the 2019 general election Labour suggested more than 100 costly waste-of-time quangos that would have cost the taxpayer a staggering £13 billion. The existing National Audit Office (NAO) – which performs a very similar role to the proposed new organisation – operates on a relatively modest budget of £100 million. What will this Value for Money Office do that the National Audit Office does not already do?