Sunday, 8 February 2009

Treasury committee echoes PCS concerns

PCS last week echoed concerns highlighted in the House of Commons Treasury Committee's report on the 2008 pre-budget report.
The committee expressed concerns about Government plans to find a further £5 billion of efficiency savings in addition to a planned target of £30 billion by 2011.
Questioning where the additional savings would come from, the committee asked the government to provide details of how and where the additional savings could be made, as well as setting out measures to ensure that public service delivery doesn’t deteriorate.
In echoing these concerns PCS warned that civil and public services would continue to suffer if the further “efficiency savings” were made at the expense of jobs and services.
Eighty thousand jobs have already gone across the civil and public sector, with tens of thousands more planed by 2011 including, 10,000 in the Ministry of Justice, 12,500 in Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and 10,000 in the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
The union maintained that further job cuts and office closures would damage public services and be bad for the economy.
PCS urged the Government to reverse its job cuts and office closure programme across civil and public services to safeguard services delivered to the public.
Commenting, Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, said: "The Treasury committee have rightly expressed concern about the Government’s plans for an additional £5 billion of ‘efficiency savings’.
"No doubt substantial savings can be made from cutting out consultants and agencies, but plucking a figure out of thin air with no idea of how it will be achieved is no way to improve efficiency.
"We have already seen the damaging impact on so called efficiency programmes on key areas such as tax, Jobcentres, justice and defence.
Further savings should not be at the expense of jobs and services which would damage public services and be bad for the economy. "Further savings should not be at the expense of jobs and services which would damage public services and be bad for the economy.
"As the recession worsens and people become more reliant on public services, the Government need to reverse its job cuts and office closure programme across civil and public services to safeguard services delivered to the public.”