By Claire West

Hundreds of staff from under-threat government agencies are expected to descend on Westminster today to put pressure on their MPs over the coalition's highly-criticised plan to cut so called 'quangos'.

Members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) will join colleagues from other public sector unions at a rally that will be addressed by PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka.

They will then lobby their MPs to highlight the important work they do and how the government’s plan to abolish, merge, privatise or drastically alter scores of non-departmental public bodies will make the agencies less effective and less accountable.

Last month the Commons public administration select committee criticised the public bodies bill - which is currently going through parliament and includes the proposal to sell-off publicly owned forests - saying it was being rushed through and that the plan would neither save money nor improve accountability.

Mark Serwotka said: “The arguments against the government's ill-thought through attempt to abolish scores of public bodies are overwhelming and the plan should be scrapped, with the full roles and economic benefits of these organisations properly assessed and consulted on.

“Despite scathing criticism from an influential Commons committee, the government appears intent on carrying on regardless. A move that betrays the ideology behind the bill, which is nothing more than a transparent attempt to blame and punish public sector workers for an economic crisis caused by speculation and greed in the financial sector.”