Earlier in May, Boris Johnson announced that there would be 91,000 job cuts across the civil service. This week Johnson has written to civil servants justifying plans to cut the jobs, saying the government must reduce its costs “just as many families are doing”.
In a letter to civil servants this week, Johnson stated that he believed there was no alternative to the headcount reduction, but that Ministers’ long-term aspirations for the civil service would result in new and better possibilities.
Johnson argued that given Britain had left the European Union and the Covid pandemic was subsiding, “we no longer require the state to have the same colossal presence in people’s lives”.
The letter explained the need to reduce headcounts by saying: “We must ensure the cost of government is no greater than absolutely necessary to deliver for the people we serve. And as many families and businesses now look at how to reduce their costs in a period of higher global inflation, it is right that we do the same.”
The letter comes after the announcement that the civil service’s graduate scheme was to be frozen for at least a year to help reduce head count by 20 per cent.
The Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) The biggest civil service union, have already warned of possible strike action at their conference over the loss of jobs and in response to the government’s plans to cap pay increases at 2 per cent.
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said:
“This government always manages to find money to pay millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money to its millionaire friends or buy bottles of Champagne for Downing Street parties but never for its hard-working staff members.
The prime minister thanks civil servants in one sentence, tells them their jobs are at risk in the next. He is a disgrace and we call on him to stand down immediately for the good of the country.
His plans to cut 91,000 civil service jobs must be abandoned and extra staff recruited as soon as possible to help deliver the vital services relied upon by so many.”