Thursday, November 30, 2006

Are we reducing or redistributing government?

Nick Hurd MP has pledged to support David Cameron’s Sustainable Communities Bill. In doing so he had the following to say:

"At present, we have a vastly over-centralised system. We need to end Labour's 'dictate from Whitehall' approach, and let communities take action on their own initiative. And by giving local government and local people greater powers to decide local spending priorities, this Bill gives people much more say over how their community looks and feels, and how it is run."

On the whole it’s a fine statement. It goes without saying that power has to be moved away from the centre and into the hands of private individuals. However it is worth bearing mind that a transference of power from central government to local government is not a reduction in government size, rather it is a redistribution of that power.

If a true reduction is to be achieved a concerted effort must be made, not to change who in government makes the decisions, but instead to reduce the number of decisions people in government can make.

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