I heard this morning that the much-heralded bonfire of the quangos was going with a whimper.
For, although there may have been some amalgamation of functions, and rearranging of names, not much has happened in quangoland.
Not much, that is unless you count the neat way that the quango bosses have been adding to their incomes by acquiring bonuses for performance, not GOOD performance you’ll note, just performance; pension additions (pensions, for the rest of you, are things that the super-rich acquire to allow them to leave the UK for the sun when they get older), and special allowances, which are just another way of trousering more public money for nothing.
When the government said that it would freeze public sector pay, what it meant was it would freeze the pay of unimportant people in the public sector: the girl in the tax office, the lad in the housing department...
We should have and would have known had we realised who was in charge of all this... Yes, it’s Francis (I do so much for the big society that I can’t remember a single thing) Maude. Yep, Old Maudie, has published a list of all those bureaucrats who earn more than £150,000 ... but what he let out, was the bit between the £150,000 and the £700,000 that is comprises the extras. Oh well, Maudie, what’s a few hundred thousand between friends, what?
On the list, however, is Mr Tony Fountain (yes, that’s his name, unfortunately name for the chairman of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority). And Tony receives £365,000 for doing that job. That’s £1,000 a day. But then Tony couldn’t be expected to live on a pittance like that. He has to have nearly £86,000 for a second home and a further...wait a minute, why does Tony need a second home at THAT kind of money? Come to that, why does he need a second home at all? If you add another £70,000 for his pension.... yes, that’s in ONE YEAR... the bold Tony manages to scone us out of just over £520,000. Still he saved the government a lot of money recently by closing part of Sellafield with the loss of 600 jobs... Needless to say when asked about the size of the remuneration package, the Nuclear Authority rolled out the tired old crap about needing to attract the right kind of person blah,bloody blah, yawn.
David Higgins who was in charge of the Olympic Delivery Authority and who is now at Network Rail job has a bonus of £179,000 making his total income £705k. And the excuse for him being paid that much is some tat about doing an “inspirational job”. I wonder why he left then. It’s not over; I haven’t missed something, have I? Oh please tell me I didn’t miss the London Olympics. I’ve been sooo looking forwa... Ha ha Gotcha! It’s OK, I haven’t: I was only joshin’.
The bonfire of the quangos was a fairy story. Then there’s a report out suggesting that unless the DWP radically changes the targets for getting people off JSA and incapacity benefits into work, 90% of the agencies employed to do the work will go broke. Oh and Gid’s finance plan, for which you will remember there was no “plan B” isn’t working (the deficit continues to rise). The Olympic plans are getting right up Londoners’ noses. House ownership figures are falling; rents in the private sector are scandalously high and there is virtually no social housing.
It just gets better and better under the Tories, don’t it!
Pic: Francis Maude. Our Francy is a bit of an old hypocrite. Not only did insist that everyone in the UK should do something for the Big Society, and then fail to be able to find one thing that HE did, except that which was his job as an MP... but he also was the well remunerated chairman of Prestbury Holdings, a mortgage company that went bust in 2009, whilst being critical of the Labour government's attitude to easy credit... tut tut. Some of Prestbury's appointed representatives specialised in brokering high-risk mortgages to people who had poor credit histories. Glass houses, stones, people, throw, who, in, live, shouldn't.