Jeremy Hunt vows to slash ‘the blob’: Chancellor proclaims freeze on Whitehall growth to avoid wasting taxpayers £1bn a yr and units out plans to chop 66,000 civil service jobs to return to pre-Covid ranges
Jeremy Hunt at present introduced a freeze on Whitehall growth as he set out plans to chop 66,000 civil servant jobs.
In his deal with to the Tory convention in Manchester, the Chancellor pledged to avoid wasting taxpayers £1billion subsequent yr by halting the expansion of the civil service.
Mr Hunt pledged to cap the Whitehall headcount at its present stage of round 490,000 workers.
He additionally set out an ambition to cut back the variety of civil servants to pre-Covid ranges.
However the Treasury pressured the motion didn’t quantity to a recruitment freeze, and that present recruitment campaigns would stay ongoing.
Jeremy Hunt introduced a freeze on Whitehall growth as he set out plans to chop 66,000 civil servant jobs
The Chancellor pledged to cap the Whitehall headcount at its present stage of round 490,000 workers
Mr Hunt additionally used his Tory convention speech at present to verify plans to extend the Nationwide Dwelling Wage for over-23s to no less than £11 an hour and impose harder circumstances on advantages
The Chancellor stated in his speech: ‘We now have one of the best civil servants on the planet and so they saved many lives within the pandemic by working night time and day.
‘However even after that pandemic is over, we nonetheless have 66,000 extra civil servants than earlier than. New insurance policies shouldn’t at all times imply new individuals.
‘So, at present I am freezing the growth of the civil service and putting in a plan to cut back its numbers to pre-pandemic ranges. It will save £1 billion subsequent yr.’
Mr Hunt bowed to not raise the freeze on Whitehall growth till the event of a ‘correct plan not only for the civil service however for all public sector productiveness enhancements’.
In June 2016, when the EU referendum befell, there have been 384,000 civil servants – the smallest quantity because the Second World Battle.
However the variety of Whitehall workers has since grown because the civil service expanded to take care of Britain’s exit from the EU, after which reply to the Covid pandemic.
Mr Hunt additionally used his Tory convention speech at present to verify plans to extend the Nationwide Dwelling Wage for over-23s to no less than £11 an hour and impose harder circumstances on advantages.
The Chancellor additionally defended his and Rishi Sunak’s give attention to reducing inflation from its 11 per cent peak, as they try and fend off Tory requires instant tax cuts.
‘Nothing hurts households extra relating to the weekly store, heating payments or pump costs, which is why the Prime Minister has pledged to halve it,’ Mr Hunt stated.
‘We’re getting there – it was 11% , it is now down by 40% – the plan is working and now we should see it by means of, simply as Margaret Thatcher did a few years in the past.
‘After we halve inflation, that is not a 1% earnings tax reduce, that is a 5% increase to incomes in comparison with if it stayed the identical.’
The Prospect union stated Mr Hunt’s announcement on Whitehall growth amounted to a U-turn after the Prime Minister had beforehand stated he didn’t consider in ‘top-down targets for civil service headcount reductions’.
Mike Clancy, the union’s basic secretary, stated: ‘This newest U-turn shreds any remaining doubts in regards to the Prime Minister’s lack of private dedication to civil servants and can additional undermine important public providers that are already struggling.
‘We now have Authorities ministers dashing out insurance policies at Tory convention in a determined try and shore up their very own help from the hard-right of their social gathering.
‘This says extra in regards to the electoral issues going through the Conservative Occasion than it does about successfully working the nation.
‘As a union, we’ve got demanded a gathering with ministers to convey the actual sense of alarm amongst their very own workers that ministers have unleashed with this harmful announcement.’
Dave Penman, basic secretary of the FDA union which represents senior civil servants, stated: ‘With so many public providers nonetheless on their knees post-Covid, it is fantasy politics to recommend you possibly can simply get the identical with considerably much less sources.’