Page last updated at 12:21 GMT, Thursday, 14 October 2010 13:21 UK

Quango reform will cost jobs, warns Maude

Jobs will be lost as part of the government's effort to "curtail the quango state," Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude has warned MPs, as he insisted that the main purpose of the cull was to increase accountability, with ministers being responsible for more decisions.

In a Commons statement on 14 October 2010, Mr Maude said: "Today the government has taken decisive action to restore accountability and responsibility to public life.

"For too long this country has tolerated ministers who ducked the difficult decisions they were elected to make.

"For too long we have had too many people who are unaccountable with a licence to meddle in people's lives.

"For too long we have had quango pay spiralling out of control so that seven people in the Audit Commission are paid over £150,000 a year at a time when the average civil servant's pay is £23,000."

In a written statement earlier Mr Maude said a total of 192 quangos are to be scrapped, a further 118 bodies would be merged and another 171 "substantially" reformed.

In all, the total number of quangos will be cut from 901 to 648, with the future of 40 bodies still under consideration.

Mr Maude told MPs: "This morning my written statement outlined the start of a process to curtail the quango state."

But shadow Cabinet Office minister Liam Byrne said many of the cuts could end up costing money, making Mr Maude "the most expensive butcher in the country".

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