- There are 1,162 quangos in the UK, running at a total cost to the taxpayer of £64 billion, equivalent to £2,550 per household.
- Even under the Cabinet Office’s restrictive definition of quangos, the cost of these bodies has risen 50% in the last ten years.
- UK quangos now employ an army of almost 700,000 bureaucrats.
- Even the Government itself does not know the full extent of the unaccountable quango industry, which range from the massive e.g. Job Centre Plus (Staff: 70,042, Cost: £3.5 billion) and the Courts Service (Staff: 19,986, Cost: £704.8 million); to the bizarre e.g. the British Potato Council (Staff: 49); or the West Northants Development Corporation (Staff: 34, Cost: £15.3 million).
- When the total number of quangos is added to the other government subsidiaries such as local authorities and NHS trusts, the total number of organisations controlled by the UK Government rises to 2,063, costing the taxpayer £257 billion and employing over 5.1 million people.
Obviously, when Libertarian Party UK were looking at the best way in which we might slice away state spending in order to present our Income Tax Abolition policy plausibly, we (somewhat flippantly) looked to QUANGOs as we reasoned that there were considerable savings to be made in this department.
Furthermore, we also dislike QUANGOs—even were levels of spending much lower—because they are not directly accountable to the electorate: whilst we can vote MPs out, there is no way in which we can directly affect QUANGO budgets or the people who administer and spend said budgets (indeed, it is for this reason that LPUK policy is to dissolve them).
The figures that the TPA have unearthed are, quite frankly, staggering: LPUK shall be trawling through the report with a fine toothcomb (when I get some time) and establishing which QUANGOs can be abolished outright—yes, Potato Council: I'm looking at you and your International Year of the Potato—and which could be drastically scaled back within a short timeframe.
Just remember that the total spent by QUANGOs and organisations that are QUANGOs in all but name is £257 billion: by contrast, income tax raises a little less £150 billion...