herald

Friday 15 December 2017

Hogan draws up list of quangos set for the chop

THE Cabinet is planning to axe a raft of "quangos" and other State-funded bodies that are costing the taxpayer millions of euros per year, the Herald has learned.

Environment Minister Phil Hogan has compiled a list of bodies set to be chopped, with major changes to local authorities also on the cards.

Government sources have revealed that Mr Hogan is to "chop, slash and change" right across the board.

Members of a number of quango boards have written to the minister in recent weeks enquiring about the safety of their plum positions.

However, the Herald has learned that several State-funded bodies are contenders for cuts including the eight regional authorities and the Dublin District Development Authority (DDDA). A source explained: "He's had a strong look at all the fat and layers that exist and he knows a lot of the bodies have to go. He will be making chops and changes because there's so much waste out there."

Documents obtained by the Herald reveal that Mr Hogan requested members of the 'Association of Irish Regions' to make a four-page submission on why they should be maintained.



REFORM

According to draft minutes of a meeting of the association on January 17, Mr Hogan said that he is "not afraid" to make whatever decision necessary.

The minutes read: "Minister concluded his remarks by stressing that he has to establish if the service/structure has a role and is required and he will then not be afraid to make whatever decision is necessary."

And further documents obtained by the Herald today reveal that the future of another costly body -- the DDDA -- is also being considered.

In a letter from Mr Hogan's private secretary to Dublin City Council, it is stated that the DDDA's future position remains "under review".

In a statement to the Herald, a spokesperson for the minister said a proposal for significant reform would be published soon.

"The minister will be bringing comprehensive proposals to Government in relation to local government structures at each level -- regional, county and sub-county," he said.

Independent TD for Dublin North Central Finian McGrath said any move to "get rid of quangos" would be welcomed.

"Some of these bodies do good work but many others are nothing short of quangos. It is only right that the wastage is doing away with, and fast."

hnews@herald.ie

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