9 October 2008
At first, politician that he is, he avoided the question; when pressed he said that departments would look to their spending priorities. We assume that this means that departments will not spend or at least reduce spending on non-priority areas.
DfT is already facing three financial years of spending cuts as it is. With the government promising hundred of billions to the banks and given the resultant knock on effect on public debt we fear that Ministers will seek further civil service cuts.
Yet there is an easy and quick way to save significant amounts of tax payers money; cut the number of consultants and contractors that swarm (swamp) the department.
In the central department there are about 150 consultants (a number equivalent to almost 10% of the civil servants who work in DfT(C); though we are sure that the consultants cost much more than 10% of the staff budget).
In Highways Agency there are even more consultants; DVLA has its fair share of consultants as well; indeed it even has a scandal concerning the use of consultants (link to earlier DVLA story). The picture is the same everywhere.
If there are to be cuts then the axe must not fall on us, the many; we should not pay for the terrible misjudgements of the very rich few.