The Welsh Conservatives have said that they will take the axe to a number of quangos, agencies and advisory bodies if they win next year’s Senedd elections.
Writing for the new conservative Gwydir website, Darren Millar MS said that they would scrap the Wales Centre for Public Policy think-tank, saving about £500,000 a year.
He also said that this would not be the only existing body to be abolished.
“In his conference speech Paul Davies talked about a slimmed-down government and our manifesto will reflect that in more than just reducing the number of ministers,” he said.
“We need to look at each and every one of the almost two hundred quangos, agencies and advisory bodies the Labour Party has built up around itself to help to maintain its grip on the levers of power.
“Some hard questions need to be asked. Why do we actually need Literature Wales? What value does the Design Commission for Wales actually bring? Why is the taxpayer funding the Wales Union Learning Fund?
“These are hard questions not just because they are challenging but because they have never been asked before.”
The Wales Centre for Public Policy said that Darren Millar’s comments about them were “wrong”.
“We are an apolitical research centre, jointly funded by Welsh Government, ESRC and Cardiff University,” they said.
“We also work with Welsh local authorities and are part of the What Works network, established by a Conservative UK government.”
Darren Millar also argued that a Welsh Conservative Government would be focused on enabling people to reach their potential rather than being obsessed with introducing bans and controls.
“Mark Drakeford is very much in favour of telling us what we can’t do. His Labour Government is obsessed with banning things and controlling our lives,” he said. “They’ve even banned us from reading newspapers on buses!
“Perhaps that’s the real reason why they’ve been so slow to help Wales get back to normality: they have enjoyed controlling behaviours far too much. What is Labour about these days if it not about banning things, controlling people, and eroding their rights?
“A Welsh Conservative Government will take a different approach. That’s why our manifesto won’t focus on banning things, it will focus on enabling things and protecting people’s rights, on nurturing talent, on learning from success, on rapidly rolling out proven innovations.
“We will not be limited by defending the status quo, by tolerating stagnation, by wasting public money year after year, or by pleasing friends in the trade union and a heavily state-subsidised charity sector as the cornerstone of public policy.”