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Government to scrap state bodies to cut costs | Reuters

(Reuters) - The government is to abolish, merge or reform 481 semi-independent state agencies to cut spending and help reduce its deficit, under a plan that will cost thousands of jobs and change the way many services are delivered.

The overhaul of what the government calls "arm's length bodies" because they are not under direct ministerial control will affect agencies with a wide variety of responsibilities ranging from competition to child protection to renewable fuels.

"It will save money, but that is not the principal objective of it, actually. The principal objective is to increase accountability," Francis Maude, the minister in charge of the reforms, told BBC radio.

The coalition had pledged in its government agreement to reduce the number and cost of arm's length bodies as part of its deficit reduction strategy.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:56:54 AM EST
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Government to create single competition authority | Reuters

(Reuters) - Britain plans to streamline its antitrust regime by merging two existing bodies into a single competition and market authority, in a move broadly welcomed by business leaders.

An official list of public bodies facing reform said the government would consult next year on a merger of the Competition Commission with the competition functions of the Office of Fair Trading (OFT). The proposal would transfer the OFT's consumer and enforcement functions to another body.

The CBI welcomed the move on Thursday, which it said it had advocated. The heads of the two organisations also backed the proposal.

"The planned merger would improve the efficiency of the competition regime by cutting duplication," said Matthew Fell, CBI Director of Competitive Markets.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:58:59 AM EST
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Britain plans to streamline its antitrust regime by merging two existing bodies into a single competition and market authority

Won't that make it a monopoly?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 07:24:09 AM EST
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Osborne : "Drat, I was hoping nobody would notice"

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 07:50:18 AM EST
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Government scraps 192 quangos | Politics | guardian.co.uk

The government today delivered its promised "bonfire of the quangos", abolishing 192 government agencies, merging another 118 and substantially reforming a further 171.

Thousands of jobs will go and as many will be transferred into new departments. It amounts to the biggest shakeup of government the coalition has made to date.

Health bodies are dealt a particularly heavy blow with the Health Protection Agency being scrapped and its functions brought into the Department of Health. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, the Human Genetics Commission and the Human Tissue Authority will all be scrapped.

The BBC World Service and the British Council have both won reprieves and the Equality and Human Rights Commission will be retained, though its regulatory functions will be substantially changed and its budget is expected to be dramatically reduced.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 12:02:35 PM EST
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FT.com / Comment / Opinion - Britain's austerity apostles duck the debate
What macroeconomic theory do the budget hawks have to subscribe to, to believe that taking £100bn out of the economy in the next four years will produce recovery? And what do the budget doves need to believe to claim the cutters are wrong?

David Cameron, Mr Osborne, and Nick Clegg appear to believe in something called "crowding out". This is the view that for every extra pound the government spends, the private sector spends one pound less. Jobs created by stimulus spending are jobs lost by the decline of private spending. Any stimulus to revive the economy is doubly damned: not only does it fail to stimulate, but, because government spending is less efficient than private, it reduces the economy's longer term recovery potential.
A refinement of this argument is "psychological crowding out". In this version it is not a shortage of saving, but a shortage of confidence in the government's creditworthiness - due to a fear of default - which causes interest rates to rise. Either way the deficit "crowds out" private investment. Net stimulus: zero.
Keynesians do not deny the possibility of "psychological crowding out": markets are subject to all kinds of irrational hopes and fears. But what the cutters mean by "crowding out" can normally only happen at full employment. At full employment, extra public spending obviously subtracts from private spending. But this is not the position we are in today.

"Ce qui vient au monde pour ne rien troubler ne mérite ni égards ni patience." René Char
by Melanchthon on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 02:22:41 PM EST
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The principal objective is to increase accountability...

Because anything that once was thought to benefit from being isolated from partisan politics is to become more accountable by either being dissolved or made part of the partisan process? Is Civil Service next?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:51:28 PM EST
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