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Osborne Plans 25% Treasury Staff Cuts From Ft

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From the website, headline on front page

here's the start of winter of discontent


George Osborne is planning to cut staff numbers at the Treasury by about one-quarter and scale back his department’s role as he attempts to lead by example in the search for sweeping spending cuts across Whitehall.

The chancellor will reconvene the public spending “star chamber” this week and hopes to settle a number of departmental budgets – including justice, transport, environment and culture – by mid-September.

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We have seen a massive U-turn on the "Bonfire of the Quangoes" which suggests that the government job cuts may not materialise. Some re-packaging and other creative schemes* are no doubt being busily worked out as we type.


*Such as "early retiremnt" with massive golden handshakes, job sharing schemes, immediate rehiring as quasi-government employees, or simply misrepresenting the numbers and burying the evidence under a pile of Sir Humphrey.

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That's one of the "creative" methods I forgot to include in my suggested list.

No outright sackings, just gradual attrition as you hope someone retires sooner than the usual date.

The hope is more mandarins die in office. There must be more front line services they can cut instead, or doctors and nurses?

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Does reducing the role of the Treasury mean less input to policy decisions and less scrutiny of the consequences of decisios taken?

In other words, does it leave Osbourne free to make policy on a wing and a prayer?

No change there.

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I heard the jobs will be reduced by not replacing retirees over four years rather than sacking people.

That would be a perfectly sensible way for HMG (or any employer) to reduce number.

Unfortunately, it isn't going to achieve anything like a 25% cut in numbers.


Edited by tim123
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turn out to be a bit of a damp squib, a bit of PR stunt.

He aims to chop a quarter of the Treasury workforce, reducing staff from about 1,350 to 1,000 in three years by natural wastage rather than redundancies. At the same time, Mr Osborne wants to reverse what he regarded as “empire building” under Gordon Brown that extended the Treasury's activities into other Whitehall departments.

Mr Osborne is even asking his staff to sit at smaller desks so more people can be squeezed into his HQ, saving rents.

The Chancellor's willingness to lock in spending reductions in his own building is designed to strengthen his hand in negotiations with other government departments, which reach the final formal stages this week.

Mr Osborne's star chamber will sit in judgment on ministers who claim they cannot find cuts without causing excessive damage to services or to the Government's political fortunes.


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Mr Osborne is even asking his staff to sit at smaller desks so more people can be squeezed into his HQ, saving rents.

Why? Is he planning on recruiting 500 contractors to replace them?

Natural wastage is not the answer, the most able and mobile have the highest turnover along with the lowest paid.

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