In a rather oxymoronic announcement at the Labour Party’s annual conference shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves said a Labour Government would create a new “Office for Value for Money”. It would be tasked with monitoring public spending to ensure money is not being wasted.
Ms Reeves made the pledge as she seeks to change the public’s mind about Labour’s ability to manage the economy.
The party has been accused of excessive spending in the past and failing to be economically disciplined.
She hopes the new watchdog will help to distil voters’ concerns.
However, just 24 hours after making the announcement the policy has already been brutally ripped apart.
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Critics say the new watchdog will be counterproductive, and a classic example of the waste of money its purpose is to avoid.
Joe Ventre, digital campaign manager of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, told Express.co.uk: “Taxpayers are fed up of seeing their hard-earned cash going down the drain year after year.
“We must hold public servants to account, but another costly quango would be hard to justify.
“The Government should use existing powers to launch a sustained war on waste and deliver value for money for Brits.”
His call for cuts to be found within current powers comes after the pandemic led to the UK’s debt soaring to the highest level since World War 2.
Outlining her plans to Labour members, Ms Reeves said the new office would be similar to the Office for Budget Responsibility introduced by George Osborne to provide independent economic forecasts and independent analysis of the public finances.
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“Today I can announce that Labour will create a new, independent Office for Value for Money.
“It will be tasked with keeping a watchful eye on how public money is spent and equipped with meaningful powers so no government is allowed to mark its own homework.
“I do not take lightly the responsibility to see that public money is spent wisely and our public finances kept under control.
“Let’s be honest. That will involve tough choices – for me and for my colleagues.
“We will not shrink from those choices, because growth, strong public services and social justice must be built on firm foundations.
“Where the Tories have brought us ballooning debt, supply chain mayhem and spiralling inflation, we embrace fully our role as the party of long-term economic stability, of secure public finances and of economic growth.
“So with me in this role, Labour won’t be making promises we can’t keep or commitments we can’t pay for.
“That is why we would put in place fiscal rules that will bind the next Labour government to ensure we always spend wisely and keep debt under control, so that we have the means to transform schools, hospitals and communities, and pay for investment in the new industries and jobs that our country desperately needs.
“That is what a Labour government will do.”