Azara Blog: Regional Development Agencies are allegedly a waste of money

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Date published: 2008/08/08

The BBC says:

Quangos set up to improve the fortunes of the English regions have been branded a costly and ineffectual waste of money by a pressure group.

The Taxpayers' Alliance says local economies did better before Regional Development Agencies came into force.

The group claims RDAs have failed to reduce inequalities between regions and should be abolished.

But a government spokesman said RDAs had helped create 125,000 jobs since they were set up in 1999.
...
The pressure group claims they have cost £15bn - nearly £600 per household. If they were abolished, the saving could allow a 4p cut in corporation tax for small firms.

The claim that "local economies did better before Regional Development Agencies came into force" is irrelevant in isolation, because it's quite possible that regional economies would have done even worse without the RDAs. Equally, the claim that the "RDAs had helped create 125,000 jobs since they were set up" is also irrelevant in isolation, because the question is how much it cost to "create" these jobs (assuming the figure is even correct). The real question is whether the RDAs are good value for money, and there is little evidence of that.

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