Brown plans 'a missed opportunity'


Brown plans 'a missed opportunity'

Commenting on the civil service efficiency and relocation plans announced today by the Chancellor in his 2004 spending review, Prospect deputy general secretary, Jenny Thurston, said:

"Today’s announcement confirms the previous position that 100,000 jobs will be cut or moved as a result of the government’s proposals. Limited numbers of professional staff are likely to be affected. But for those that are, Prospect will demand that all moves are voluntary; that alternative employment must be offered to all affected staff; and that a properly funded redeployment package is offered to all those who relocate.

"So far Prospect has seen no efficiencies or worked out plans that would justify cuts on the scale envisaged by the Chancellor. In every case Prospect will be scrutinising the fine detail to ensure that no public service is damaged by either the government’s efficiency cuts or relocation plans.

"Yet again this is a missed opportunity to enhance quality of service to the public. The government has nothing to say about enhancing the specialist expertise on which it depends or investing in the scientists and professionals who make government tick. Specialists in the civil service have been cut by more than 35% since 1991 and in many departments the position is reaching crisis point."