Plans to axe 91,000 UK civil servants would ‘cut public services’


Government plans to axe up to 91,000 civil servants over three years would require deep cuts to public providers and value at the very least £1bn in redundancy funds, in accordance to a Whitehall overview.

Boris Johnson in May unveiled plans for the close to 20 per cent discount in headcount, and in June said he might “prune” again the civil service to 2016 ranges “without harming” frontline providers

However, authorities insiders stated a overview by Steve Barclay, his former chief of workers, had discovered in any other case. 

They added that the Barclay overview had led the Treasury to “go cold” on Johnson’s plans after the emergence of the complete upfront price and affect on public providers. 

But international secretary Liz Truss, the frontrunner to change Johnson in September as Tory chief and prime minister, is backing proposals to lower civil service prices. She has vowed to wage “a war on Whitehall waste”.

One Whitehall insider who has labored on the plans to lower 91,000 civil servants stated that it had turn into clear that Johnson had made his announcement — which was greeted with enthusiasm on the rightwing of the Conservative social gathering — with out totally pondering via the implications. 

“You can only deliver 91,000 cuts by actual cuts to major frontline services,” added the insider. “There’s no way you can get to that number through efficiency savings or reductions in HQ staff.”

One authorities insider stated the proposals to axe 91,000 civil servants would contain “serious cuts” to workers at HM Revenue and Customs, Border Force and prisons. “And you couldn’t protect jobs outside London,” added the insider.

Although estimates weren’t finalised, one other Whitehall insider stated a determine of £2bn had been mentioned as a working assumption on the price of obligatory redundancy funds.

Truss’ marketing campaign crew endorsed the federal government plan to lower 91,000 civil servants final week — after being compelled right into a U-turn on proposals to introduce regional pay scales within the public sector to save an estimated £8.8bn a 12 months. 

Brandon Lewis, the previous Northern Ireland secretary who’s backing Truss to be the subsequent Tory chief, instructed the BBC the ditched coverage on regional pay boards was a part of a “wider package around dealing with waste in Whitehall”.

Citing Johnson’s goal to lower 91,000 officers, which would return the civil service to the traditionally low ranges of 2016 that adopted six years of reductions below the then prime minister David Cameron, Lewis stated: “We’ve got to get back to those levels.” The proposed cuts are meant to save £3.5bn a 12 months.

The authorities presently employs 475,000 civil servants in contrast with a low level of 384,000 in 2016. The greatest progress in officers has come on the Ministry of Justice, the Home Office and the Department of Work and Pensions.

The calls for on Whitehall have elevated lately, partly due to the coronavirus pandemic but in addition due to authorities insurance policies corresponding to recruiting 20,000 cops.

The UK’s departure from the EU has required the growth of the Department of International Trade to negotiate trade offers, whereas Britain’s post-Brexit immigration regime has elevated calls for on immigration and Border Force workers.

The Cabinet Office stated: “As people across the country are facing huge living costs, the public rightly expect their government to lead by example and to be run as efficiently as possible.”

It added it was too early to speculate on how the reductions in headcount would be made, however {that a} vary of choices included not filling vacancies as civil servants transfer to the non-public sector or retire. Consultations with trade unions had been persevering with, stated the Cabinet Office.

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