Carswell's doubts over regulatory plans

THE Tory leadership's big idea of setting up an independent Office of Budget Responsibility ran into immediate trouble from an Essex MP, who said it should be down to the House of Commons to provide oversight of public finances.

Graham Dines

THE Tory leadership's big idea of setting up an independent Office of Budget Responsibility ran into immediate trouble from an Essex MP, who said it should be down to the House of Commons to provide oversight of public finances.

Douglas Carswell, Conservative MP for Harwich, said the independent monetary policy committee of the Bank of England had given Britain a decade of “low, low interest rates,” supplying too much cheap money for too long with the result that the Government and individuals got into debt.

Mr Carswell argued: “If the legislature is so monumentally inept at scrutinising the expenditure of the executive, then surely its time for more far reaching reform, not just another Whitehall quango?”


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He says £1.2 Trillion additional in taxes have been spent since 1997, largely by unaccountable quangos. Mr Carswell wants every quango in the country obtain specific annual approval for its budget from the relevant Commons select committee.

“Doing so alone would immediately reduce vast waste - and allow tax cuts over time. We might also get fewer monumental cock-ups such as the defence procurement farce.

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“Promising tax cuts alone is simply offering to deal with symptoms. It's the cause of high taxes - unaccountable quango government - that we need to tackle first.

“When the economy was booming on a tide of cheap money, it was possible to ignore the way red tape was making the UK progressively less and less business-friendly. No longer,” says Mr Carswell, who wants 30 regulatory laws to be scrapped by an incoming Tory government.

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