By Lindsay Muir.
The threat of widespread cuts to government departments continues to snowball after a letter from the Cabinet Office was leaked.
The letter, from Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude to other ministers, proposed the abolition of 180 government quangos and the merging of 124 more. Quangos are non-departmental government bodies and committees which analyse government decisions on their fields and make suggestions on policy.
Cabinet sources are keen to play down the leak emphasising the coalitions mandate to increase government accountability and improve its efficiency adding that, “[we] deeply regret any extra uncertainty for employees that this irresponsible leak has caused.”
The leak comes days before the Chancellors autumn review of long-term departmental spending. However, as far back as May this year George Osborne had already hinted at major cuts and reviews of quangos, government spending and streamlining of the civil service as part of government plans to reduce the huge spending deficit.
Early estimates by analysts suggests that, should the cuts go ahead, it would place tens of thousands of public sector jobs at risk but with an estimated saving of at least £40 million on expenditure.
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