Ministers have already earmarked more than 100,000 civil service posts to be cut as the government sets about reducing its administration costs by a third, a Guardian survey has found.
sources identified reductions in posts of 15,000 at the Department of
Work and Pensions, 8,500 at the Home Office and between 5,000 and 8,000
at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
few individuals have yet been targeted to achieve the 33%
across-the-board reductions in administration costs announced at the
spending review, but nearly all ministries are still losing people from a
previous round of redundancies enacted by the last government.
Whitehall departments are currently working on plans, due to be
delivered by the end of the month, which will set out the principles by
which they are going to achieve the dramatic reductions in spending
announced by the chancellor last month.
Details will include
specific programmes that will be cut or merged and will give the first
firm clues as to where the 490,000 public sector jobs losses estimated
by the independent Office for Budget Responsibility will fall.
to avoid mass redundancies are being considered including reducing
people's working hours or even taking voluntary pay cuts in order to
preserve jobs. Unions have indicated that they would be willing to
discuss these options as a last resort.
Information obtained from
every ministry suggests that most are still losing people to the last
round of voluntary redundancies, all have seen their workforce drop with
the recruitment freeze ordered by the government after the election and
some have already set out internally the numbers needed to hit their
spending reduction targets.
Up to 853 of the 2,134 posts at the
Department for Communities and Local Government are expected to go, the
Department for Health is "actively considering" launching a new round of
voluntary redundancies and the Ministry of Defence has already said it
will reduce its workforce by 42,000, 25,000 of whom will be civilian
Some 270 out of the 520 posts at the
Department for Culture, Media and Sport will be lost by 2013. The
culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has already announced a voluntary
redundancy scheme for all civil servants in his department and is
looking to reduce the headcount of senior staff from 50 to just 15,
largely as a result of the Olympic Games implementation team being
disbanded after the event.
Overall, the Guardian was
told of more than 103,155 posts that will be lost, including in the
armed forces. The most recent official figures for employment in the
central civil service is 456,060. Nearly all departments acknowledged
that they would be reducing posts, saying that they would be looking for
voluntary redundancies to avoid making people redundant on a compulsory
A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice confirmed
preliminary estimates of up to 15,000 lost posts. "Where possible, staff
reduction will be through natural turnover and voluntary redundancy,
avoiding compulsory redundancies if possible," he said.
Baume, the general secretary of the FDA, which represents senior civil
servants, said: "Clearly jobs are not being filled. Senior posts are
quietly evaporating. It will be later in the winter before we get a much
sharper picture. There are suggestions people may be asked to go
part-time or take pay cuts to avoid redundancies. I'd be surprised if we
didn't get these recommendations."