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 December/January 2024

PSE December/January 2024

Northumberland’s climate change resource is empowering the next generation

Dive into our latest edition for December/January. Discover insightful articles on climate change, innovation in nuclear decommissioning, fostering collaboration, and more.

 

Videos...

View all videos
#PSE365: Public Sector Events

Be A Part Of It!

PSE365: Public Sector Virtual Events

PSE has created a full calendar of events to address the most important issues that influence the delivery of public sector services. 

 

Over 365 days you’ll have the opportunity to hear from a range of highly motivating, informative and inspirational speakers. These speakers will equip you with knowledge and unique insight to enable you to overcome the challenges that you face.

 

See our full events calendar and register now! 

Public Sector Executive Podcast

Ep 48. Achieving Net Zero - Cllr Abdul Jabbar - Oldham Council

As central government aims for the UK to be net zero by 2050, councils around the country make plans for how to reduce emissions. This episode’s guest, Oldham’s Councillor Abdul Jabbar outlines the importance of coming together to reduce the nation’s carbon footprint, the benefits of achieving net zero, and how Oldham Council are working to do just that.
 

Touching on the role that the public sector can play in sustainability, Cllr Jabbar said:
 

“I think it’s really important that the public sector gives true leadership in this space. I think something like one third of the carbon emissions in the country come from the public sector, so obviously we’re a big polluter in terms of the emissions.”
 

Councillor Jabbar also spoke about challenges being faced by organisations:
 

“I think the biggest one has been finance. Clearly the local government sector in particular has had its grants cut from central government by a huge amount and that’s had a very big impact in terms of our plans to take forward projects in relation to climate change, so that’s a major issue.”
 

To hear what Cllr Jabbar has to say about the mission to achieve net zero carbon emissions, listen to the latest episode of the Public Sector Executive Podcast.

More articles...

View all