Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Tip for Peter Ainsworth MP; look here

The Telegraph reports that Cameron has asked his front bench to find a few moments in their busy private business schedules to comb through Whitehall budgets for savings in their policy areas. Well, here's a start for Peter Ainsworth, shadow DEFRA minister. Back in July I looked in detail at just one area, food and farming regulation. I estimated that the direct national costs of regulation are about £2bn annually; add the costs of compliance, and the cost is terrifying. Here, for example, are the quangos that Whitehall has set up to blur the costs;

- School Food Trust
- Agricultural Wages Board for England and Wales
- Agricultural Wages Committees for England x 15
- British Potato Council
- Food from Britain
- Gangmasters Licensing Authority
- Home Grown Cereals Authority
- Horticulture Development Council
- Meat and Livestock Commission
- Milk Development Council
- Sea Fish Industry Authority
- Wine Standards Board
- Advisory Committee on Organic Standards
- Advisory Committee on Packaging
- Advisory Committee on Pesticides
- Agricultural Dwelling House Advisory Committees x 18
- Animal Health and Welfare Strategy England Implementation Group
- Committee of Investigation for Great Britain
- Committee on Agricultural Valuation
- Consumers’ Committee for Great Britain under the Agriculture Marketing Act 1958
- Farm Animal Welfare Council
- Hill Farming Advisory Committee for England, Wales and Northern Ireland
- Independent Agricultural Appeals Panel
- Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB
- Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee
- Agricultural Land Tribunals
- Commons Commissioners
- Dairy Produce Quota Tribunal
- Plant Varieties and Seeds Tribunal
- Alcohol Education and Research Council
- Committee on Carcinogenicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment
- Committee on Mutagenicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment
- Herbal Medicines Advisory Committee
- Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition
- Advisory Committee on Animal Feedstuffs
- Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes
- Advisory Committee on Research
- Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food
- Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment
- Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP)
- Expert Group on Vitamins and Minerals
- WRAP (minimisation of food waste)
- Marine & Fisheries Agency
- Rural Payments Agency
- Animal Health

All providing lots of jobs for the boys (and girls). And as Yokel pointed out, these are just our national costs; add the cost of the European Food Standards Agency and the Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development, never mind our net contribution to CAP, and I reckon at least 15% of Dave's savings are available in this area alone.

Right, lick your pencils, lads ...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You seem to have missed the Wool Marketing Board.

Did you know that it's still, in the 21st century, a legal requirement for farmers to sell all their raw wool to a state body?

Astonishingly enough, the price they're prepared to pay makes it more worthwhile for said farmers to burn the wool at the farm immediately after shearing.

I am not making this up - ask a few of your Suffolk neighbours (assuming there's any wool trade left around Lavenham and Long Melford).