Mark Whitehead 11 November 2014

Maude: £2bn saved in quango cull

Reforming and abolishing public bodies has saved more than £2bn since 2010, according to minister for the cabinet office Francis Maude.

He says savings have been achieved in a review of more than 900 public bodies in the last four years in which at least 185 have been abolished and 165 merged into fewer than 70, reducing the overall number by a third.

Mr Maude said the programme had now completed more than 95% of the planned abolitions and mergers. Figures suggest plans are on track to reach the forecasted £2.6bn by May 2015

Abolished public bodies include the Government Hospitality Advisory Committee on the purchase of Wines, the Zoos Forum and the Advisory Committee on Packaging.

Mr Maude said: 'As part of our long-term economic plan, this government is cutting waste and driving reform to save taxpayers billions.

'Thanks to the dedication of so many officials working in these bodies, we have delivered our promise to transform the "quango" landscape to make it more accountable, more efficient and better run than ever before.'

The announcement comes alongside the release of the Public Bodies 2014 report which sets out the size and cost of public bodies, executive agencies and non-ministerial departments in a single document.

The Government says this will help taxpayers see how their money is spent.

However, a report published yesterday claimed quangos were still inconsistent and cluttered despite recent reforms.

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