By Claire West

The coalition’s plans to cull 192 quangos are ill-thought out and ideologically-driven, Unite, the largest union in the country, said this week.

Unite joint general secretary, Tony Woodley, said: ”The fact that cabinet office minister, Francis Maude is unable to say how much will be saved and how many jobs will be affected by this cull shows the threadbare nature of the thinking behind these abolition plans.

”There has been little or no consultation on these proposals from this ‘we are all in this together’ government.

”In many areas of the economy and social policy quangos are important in protecting the economically vulnerable, the put-upon consumer and acting as economic generators.

”For example, the Agricultural Wages Board protects hundreds of thousands of rural workers from wage poverty; Consumer Focus helps redress the imbalance between the individual consumer and the power of the utility companies; and the regional development agencies bring money to the regions to kick-start the much needed drive for economic growth and the accompanying extra jobs.

”Unite, along with other trade unions, voluntary organisations and consumer groups, will be leading the opposition to the threatened job losses and raising pertinent questions as to why certain quangos are being cut.

”This is another case of the coalition putting ideology before rational analysis and the cuts agenda before the needs of citizens.”