Myth 3: civil and public servants are secure in their jobs

The myth

There is a misconception that civil and public servants are immune from the recession and have safe and cushy jobs.

The facts

The picture across the civil service has been one of job cuts resulting in a deterioration of services since the Gershon review in 2004. 80,000 jobs have gone under Gershon with more to follow in some areas as a result of the comprehensive spending review in 2007.

As a result of this year’s budget and the publication of the ‘Operational efficiency programme’ the government have announced a further round of ‘efficiency savings’ totalling £9 billion. This is bound to result in more job losses.

For example there are plans for the Land Registry to be halved over the next 5 years at a cost of up to 4,000 jobs.

Examples of job losses and their impact

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs
  • 18,000 jobs have already been cut with a total of 25,000 planned by 2011 in addition to over 200 offices axed.
  • The impact so far has been a reduction in service, increased errors and backlogs in post. Debts less than £20,000 aren’t being pursued.
  • Insufficient staffing in contact centes has meant that only half the calls from the public can be dealt with causing long delays for the public and stress to staff.
  • Job losses have made it impossible to chase the £21.5 billion worth of uncollected tax and £25 billion lost through tax evasion. Money that could be ploughed into public services and stimulating the economy. This will only get worse as further cuts are made.
Ministry of Defence
  • 14,000 jobs have been cut so far with another 8,000 to come.
  • The job losses have impacted on the support given to the armed forces and the supply of everything from ‘bog rolls to bullets’.
Department for Work and Pensions
  • 30,000 jobs across the department were axed as a result of Gershon. 18,000 of these were in jobcentres. 500 jobcentres and benefit offices have closed over the last five years.
  • As a result of the recession the department has halted further closures (apart from three in London) and are recruiting staff again, to cope with the rising unemployed. Staffing will be taken back to 2005 levels but this is unlikely to be adequate to deal with the current level of unemployment.
  • Elsewhere in the DWP cuts are still continuing with 1,100 staff in the pension and disability carers service transferring to jobcentres and not being replaced.

Past experience has shown that ‘efficiency savings’ have resulted in cuts. With more and more people relying on public services it makes no sense to pursue further cuts.

The government should not be putting people on the dole, but stimulating the economy through increased investment.

Myths:  Part 1Part 2Part 4Part 5

6 Comments CherryPie on May 11th 2009

6 Responses to “Media Myths About Civil & Public Services – Part 3”

  1. Anne says:

    Hi Cherrypie, excellent move…looks great and no problems.

    I was going to comment on your other blog, but I have trouble commenting on any blog with that sort of comment box, you know name and url…don’t worry it is not just yours, anyone with that..not sure why, but this one is fine :-)

    Thank you for your lovely comment about my new look blog, pleased you like it. It needed an update :-)

    • CherryPie says:

      Hi Anne, I am glad you feel more comfortable here. I had been growing out of my other blog for some time… So I felt I needed an update just like you did :-)

      I know some people don’t like Wordpress because they think they have to log in and out, but they don’t ;-) I have tried to make it as easy as possible to comment!

  2. Again well put Cherie. Again the idea of the unsackable civil servant is a canard

  3. Good luck Cherie! Too many people still think we wear pinstripe suits and bowler hats. Well I do wear pinstripe suits (when I don’t wear jeans) but never a hat of any sort!

    • CherryPie says:

      Well I can imagine you in your pinstripe suit with your fun ties ;-) But no I never thought of you as the type that would wear a bowler!