Garry Graham, Prospect deputy general secretary, said:
“Figures showing that from 2015-16 to 2017-18 government spending on private sector consultants tripled from £0.5bn to £1.5bn are truly staggering. In this past year spending on private sector consultants for Brexit preparation alone topped £97m.
“Since the referendum, and against the backdrop of slashing civil service numbers and holding down pay, the government’s answer to Brexit preparations has been to throw money at the big six consultancy firms. It is reported that a third of the spending has been directed at No Deal preparation for which there is no parliamentary appetite. This is a shocking waste of public money and will stick in the throats of civil servants who continue to be singled out for the harshest of treatment on pay compared to their colleagues in the wider public sector and comparators in the private sector.
“Indications are that spending on private sector consultants is only likely to increase with recent reports of fresh contracts being signed worth £160m.”