Civil servants crossing the road in London

Civil service cuts announced by Chancellor

On the second day of the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, the Chancellor has announced plans to save money by cutting civil service jobs.

In his speech this afternoon, Jeremy Hunt has announced a swathe of measures that will help to grow the economy, however one of these is to reduce the number of civil service jobs. In the same breath as these cuts were announced, the Chancellor did state that this nation’s civil servants are the “best in the world” but did also claim that the UK needs a “more productive state, not a bigger state.”

jeremy hunt portrait

According to the Chancellor, there are 66,000 more civil servants than there were before the Covid-19 pandemic. This has led to the announcement that expansion in the civil service will be frozen and reduced to the levels that it was at before the pandemic, with this expected to save the taxpayer £1 billion next year.

Speaking at the Manchester Central Convention Complex, Hunt said:

“Of course, we need modern working practices and better IT but the treasury, too, needs to change its focus from short term cost control, to long term cost reduction. And we’re going to start with the civil service.

“We have the best civil servants in the world, and they saved many lives in the pandemic by working night and day, but even after the pandemic’s over, we still have 66,000 more civil servants than before.

“New policies should not always mean new people, so today I’m freezing the expansion of the civil service and putting in place a plan to reduce its numbers to pre-pandemic levels. This will save £1 billion next year.

“And I won’t lift that freeze until we have a proper plan, not just for the civil service, but for all public sector activity improvements. That means, amongst other things, changing our approach to equality and diversity initiatives.”

Also announced in his speech at this year’s conference was a plan to raise the national living wage. This development comes as the Chancellor claimed that around 100,000 people every year are leaving jobs to live on benefits instead.

To combat this, Hunt announced that the National Living Wage will increase to at least £11 per hour next year, whilst also implementing a squeeze on benefits.

 

Image credit: iStock

Portrait credit: UK Parliament

PSE

PSE April/ May 2024

Alarming decline in UK costal water quality

Dive into our latest edition for April/May 2024!

 

More articles...

View all
Online Conference

Presenting

2024 Online Conferences

In partnership with our community of public sector leaders responsible for procurement and strategy across local authorities and the wider public sector, we’ve devised a collaborative calendar of conferences and events for leaders of industry to listen, learn and collaborate through engaging and immersive conversation.

All our conferences are CPD accredited, which means you can gain points to advance your career by attending our online conferences. Also, the contents are available on demand so you can re-watch at your convenience.

Public Sector Executive Podcast

Listen to industry leaders on everything within the public sector

From government policies and public administration to education, healthcare, and infrastructure, we explore the challenges and innovations shaping our communities.

 

Join us as we speak with industry leaders, policymakers, and frontline professionals, providing you with valuable insights and perspectives to stay informed and engaged with the issues that matter most.