Civil service job cuts part of 'political smash and grab'

24 October 2012

The Tory-led government slashed more than 60,000 civil service jobs in its first two years in office as part of a 'political smash and grab' on our public services.

According to official figures published today civil service headcount was down to 463,812 in March 2012, a fall of 63,672 on March 2010.

Between March 2011 and March this year 34,621 jobs have gone, a 7% cut.

Administrative grades shouldered the biggest burden with a fall of nearly 10% over the last year, giving the lie to the Tory myth that we are 'all in this together'.

These are staff who work in our communities around the country, advising people about how to get back to work and what benefits they are entitled to, collecting and administering taxes, working at ports and airports and delivering many other essential public services.

Earlier this year MPs on the public accounts committee said HM Revenue and Customs could have collected £1 billion more in tax if it had not cut so many staff, and the transport select committee has described the Maritime and Coastguard Agency's plans to almost halve the number of our coastguard stations and cut jobs in those that remain open as "seriously flawed".

The union says that morale in the civil service is at rock bottom as a result of these job losses, as well as cuts to pay and pensions, and a new review which threatens to undermine all terms and conditions.

The review - which includes looking at hours, holidays and family-friendly policies such as part-time and flexible working – was set up without consultation or negotiation with staff and led to a lightning walkout by PCS members in Coventry when Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude visited their office last week.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "These figures show the extent of the damage being done by this out of touch and incompetent government that, for purely ideological reasons, wants to hack away at services we all rely on.

"Once again giving the lie to the Tory myth that we are 'all in this together', the figures show that those least culpable for the economic crisis and least able to pay are being forced to shoulder the greatest burden.

"With all the evidence showing that austerity isn't working, these job cuts and the latest threat to terms and conditions are clearly part of a political smash and grab on our public services to sell more of them off to make profits for big businesses."


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