Ministerial responsibilities - who's doing what?

So what have Government Ministers been doing for the last week? Almost five working days after they were appointed, there are many junior Ministers who seemingly do not yet know what they are supposed to be doing. Only a handful of departments have published the responsibilities of their Ministerial team. So what have they been up to? Arguing over who is in charge of photocopying? Debating the wallpaper for their new offices?

And if they do not what they are doing - why haven't we been told?



The more time they spend arguing about and figuring out what they are supposed to be doing, the less time they'll spend doing it. I find this state of affairs perfectly acceptable: the last thing we want is ministers *doing* things.

Except, Rob, that we are paying them, and the superstructure of the state that supports them, to do nothing. Inactivity is indeed preferable to activity (unless that activity were put into repealing and revoking many of their interventions), but it is very expensive inactivity. And how are we going to hold them to account if we don't know what they are responsible for?

Whatever it is they are meant to be doing, it will most likely be unnecassary.  At least nine of the new ministers aren't getting the full pay - an admission by Mr.B that they aren't worth the money?

..... the reason there are so many Ministers not drawing a salary is that there is a legal limit to the number of Ministers who can be paid. It was intended that this would stop Government ballooning out of control, and the ploy of not paying them gets round this. But they still need offices, staff, drivers, cars, and of course, something to do. The true cost of these extra "unpaid" Ministers is enormous.

Although Hugo Rifkind had a funny item in The Times a couple of days ago about how Kevin Brennan and Beverley Hughes are having to spread the on-costs by sharing a pool car - the Kev 'n Bev mobile.