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UK Politics

'Bonfire of the quangos' costs rise

Ministers have underestimated the cost of implementing their "bonfire of the quangos", the Whitehall spending watchdog has warned.

The Government said it would save £2.6bn by 2014-15 by axing 262 public bodies. But the National Audit Office said the transition costs would be at least £830m – almost double the £425m ministers estimated when they launched the plan in October 2010. As a result, the Government will now have to find total savings of £3.5bn if they are to meet the 2014-15 target. The NAO said there was still "insufficient grasp" of the continuing costs of the functions which were being transferred from quangos to other parts of government.