Friday, 13 May 2022

Nowhere near enough

Cost of living: Plans to cut 90,000 civil servants is not a return to austerity, Jacob Rees-Mogg says

The move would imply a reduction of about a fifth of the 475,000-strong workforce, which the government says would save about £3.5bn a year.

A 90,000 cut is more like edging our way cautiously towards sanity rather than austerity. Assuming it happens and assuming it isn't a case of cutting the posts but redeploying the staff. 

Lockdown memories must be fading already, but what kept Mrs H and I going was the private sector, not the public sector. 


Doonhamer said...

They will need a whole new department.
Office for Resource Redirection and Efficiency.
Full of the usual sub-departmental suspects.
With a new Cabinet Position.
Read Parkinson.

dearieme said...

We all know the punishment for mutiny or cowardice, don't we? Decimation! Get on with it, Boris.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I would like to see a new department, with exclusive responsibility for one or two key areas, such as immigration and asylum - but not staffed by the civil service. Recruited entirely from outside apart from a few key, reliable, people at the top who could say f*** o** to the other departments.

Oh well, nice to dream.

Sam Vega said...

Good news, not because the savings will achieve anything, but because someone needs to wage war on inefficiency, political bias, and the tendency to think they are untouchable. Brexit was a real eye-opener for me. Civil Servants under Theresa May's administration clearly had done no preparation, modelling, and costing of different options. And perhaps, as John Redwood has suggested, therein lies the problem. In the EU, civil servants were merely the implementers of directives. They now need to be cleared out in favour of people who can think ahead and act on Britain's interest.

We need this to be fought with the same sense of purpose and intensity as Maggie's rout of the miners. Somehow, though, I don't think it will be.

DiscoveredJoys said...

Actually a whole new department might not be a bad idea - as long as it is constructed from existing staff, and all future recruitment and promotion *has* to be carried out by the new department following a business case built by the gaining department. A business case that demonstrates that all other courses of action have been examined and also offers any surplus, retirements, resignations or sackings as part of the case.

Although I'm not a great believer in centralisation, a single recruiting department has a much clearer remit and can open and close the recruitment tap more effectively.

wiggiatlarge said...

There have already been threats from the unions, not unexpected, about the cull, and the usual tales of impending unfairness in the job losses, but the fact is that since 2010 the civil service has increased by 25% so 90k is nowhere near enough, what matters is they get rid of the right people, not the ones who actually do something.

A K Haart said...

Doonhamer - Parkinson should be standard reading for schools.

dearieme - Wembley stadium would be a good venue.

Anon - that's a good idea although it would become corrupted eventually and certainly if Labour were to gain power.

Sam - Brexit was a real eye-opener for me too because I assumed the upper levels of the civil service would have some interest in more independence. Apparently not and that tells us a great deal about the people they are.

DJ - I don't think we'll see internal structural solutions until we have a more competent political class and more competent voters. Yet change may be in the air - it's hard to tell.

Wiggia - yes, getting rid of the right people is the issue. Unfortunately they tend to be good at playing the system and have too much influence.