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Bonfire of the quangos

Vince Cable, the business secretary, has this week announced plans to abolish a number of quangos looking into intellectual property, international trade and the disposal of electrical waste. While many of these quangos operate behind-the-scenes, and very rarely invite publicity, the four business quangos under review cost in the region of £8.6 million year to run. So who will replace these operations?

As sensible as it may sound, the UK government has decided that many of the activities of these quangos can be brought "in-house" using existing government departments which should inevitably make them more accountable to the public. There is also the ability to immediately wipe out the £8.6 million a year running costs, something very appealing to the UK government as it looks to reduce the UK public sector budget to more sustainable levels.

While the subject of quangos is one which continues to attract controversy there is no doubt that a number of these particular setups do offer significant benefits to the UK economy and the UK business arena as the whole. However, it is the very fact they appear to have very high running costs and can often pay "attractive" remuneration packages which seems to attract the wrath of the UK public when the information is discussed in the public domain.

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