Labour’s “Value For Money Office” Would Cost Millions to Duplicate National Audit Office

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?

mdi-timer 23 November 2021 @ 12:37 23 Nov 2021 @ 12:37 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
How Labour Has Packed Quangos Including the BBC & Ofcom for Decades

The revelation in The Sunday Times that Boris wants to appoint Charles Moore as BBC Chairman and Paul Dacre to run the media regulator Ofcom, prompted outrage from the chattering metropolitan media class; with the likes of Adam Boulton accusing No. 10 of being an “oligarchy” exhibiting “elite populism run riot”. When Guido pointed out to Boulton that Labour had dominated the quangocracy for over a decade – citing the Independent‘s 1995 discovery of plans to install Blair’s friends in high places – Adam claimed there wasn’t evidence to support that – when Guido asserted with evidence otherwise, Boulton told him “F off” with his lies and smears. It was admittedly very late. Anyway, Guido’s been busy crunching the numbers…

  • In the last year of Major’s government, 57% of political appointees had Tory allegiances, versus 32% for Labour
  • One year after Blair came to power, Labour appointees were up to 75%, versus 13% for Tories
  • During every single one of New Labour’s years, more than half of political appointees with declared affiliations were Blair or Brown backers. In 2006/7 and 2009/10, it was 70%.*

Labour deliberately prioritised getting their allies into high power media positions – including appointing Greg Dyke, who had previously donated £50,000 to Labour, to the role of BBC Director-General. Can you imagine the outrage if the Tories did similar today?

The era of Labour-dominated quangocracies didn’t end with the coalition in 2010, however. In 2011/12, the percentage of Labour-affiliated appointments actually beat Blair’s 1997-98 record at 76.7%. From 2010-2014, 3x more Labour supporters were appointed to top quango jobs than Tories, it was a noticeable blind-spot of the Cameron era…

  • 2011-12: 76.7%, 13.8%, 4.3%
  • 2013-14: 45.6%, 30.8%, 7.5%
  • 2014-15: 37.6%, 25.9%, 11.8%
  • 2015-16: 41.2%, 33.1%, 14.7%
  • 2016-17: 37.7%, 37.1%, 10.5%
  • 2017-18: 40.6%, 30.2%, 14.6%
  • 2018-19: 47.4%, 31.6%, 10.5%

Since ’97 there have only been 2 years when Tories have got more public appointments than Labour, astounding when you consider the Tories have been in charge for a decade. Guido doesn’t reckon anyone could look at the last 23 years of Labour’s quango domination and credibly complain about this Downing Street initiating a decades-long overdue end to the Blairite dominance of public appointments…

*Source: Public Appointments Commission

See also: Nearly Half of 2019 Public Appointments Support Labour 

mdi-timer 29 September 2020 @ 16:33 29 Sep 2020 @ 16:33 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
May’s Parting Gift to the Nation: Another New Quango

Theresa May’s last-minute attempts to create some sort of political legacy have taken another predictably tedious turn today. In between hobbling the economy with a trillion pound bill and desperately trying to get Phil Hammond to turn on the spending taps, she’s now identified another integral piece of her legacy that was missing. A new quango.

She’s even managed to come up with a classic Thick of It-style name, the “Office for Tackling Injustices” (OfTI). It won’t actually be doing any tackling or even recommending policy, its purpose is just to “collect evidence” on various demographic discrepancies. Something which is already done by a wide range of costly government bodies and shouty taxpayer-funded third sector organisations…

The ONS, with an operating budget of over £200 million a year, tweeted ethnicity pay gap data which they already collect this morning in a subtle dig at May’s announcement. Yet May’s still determined to waste more taxpayers’ money on another vanity project that’s redundant before it even starts…

mdi-timer 12 July 2019 @ 10:35 12 Jul 2019 @ 10:35 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Untrustee-Worthy Entrustment

ConservativeHome regularly lists public vacancies in the hope that righties might apply for them and thus correct the severe pro-Left imbalance in the quangocracy. But is there any point if the selection panels are staffed by lefties?

Click here and you will see that Jackie Ashley, also known as, Mrs Andrew Marr, has been given a nice little quango job: acting as the ‘independent member’ of the panel choosing the next trustee of the Theatres Trust quango. On the Whitehall website there is a blank space under ‘political activity’ and ‘notes’. Is this entirely truthful?

Ashley was for years a nakedly pro-Labour columnist in the Guardian (her dad was a Labour MP). And is she really that interested in theatre? Our man in the stalls says: “I’ve never seen her at the theatre.” With Ashley on the selection panel, no Tory supporter need apply…

mdi-timer 21 May 2019 @ 11:46 21 May 2019 @ 11:46 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments