Rishi Sunak due to cut thousands of civil service jobs: Occupations in the line of fire

Tory MP says he 'will not have any second jobs'

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Rishi Sunak shared in October there were plans to bring civil servant jobs back to pre-pandemic levels, but this claim was not the ray of hope it seemed. Over the next three years an expected tens of thousands jobs will be lost across the county of Whitehall, expectedly to be redistributed to other parts of the country.

It has been reported Mr Sunak is working with the Cabinet Office in order to secure a savings equivalent of five percent for the Whitehall sector’s daily spending budget.

This was paired with an announcement by the Chancellor that he wished to bring civil servant job levels back to pre-pandemic numbers.

Despite the apparent optimism in the phrase, this would see roughly 49,000 jobs lost. 

In March 2020, shortly before the very first lockdown, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) noted that there were 456,000 civil servants in the UK. 

However, the ONS shared that as of September 2021, this number had risen to 505,000.

It has been highlighted that frontline civil servants will likely not be affected by these job cuts, these include those involved with delivery roles such as:

  • Benefits and state pension payments
  • Driver’s license issuance
  • Prison operations

In total, an estimated 48 percent of the civil servant workforce operates in these ‘frontline’ roles and the job losses are expected to be less than the estimated 49,000. 

While exclusions have been made for frontline roles, the government is yet to announce the roles which will be annexed. 

More parameters and insight will be shared by the Treasury early next year but according to the FDA union, roughly 22,000 roles will be moved out of London by 2030.  

Dave Penman, general secretary of the FDA, commented: “At a time when the government has to face up to the longer-term consequences of Covid -19, the still uncertain outcomes from Brexit and a strong commitment to levelling up, cutting tens of thousands of jobs across the civil service will inevitably mean that something has to give.”

“As the old saying goes, to govern is to choose and any serious government has to match commitments to resources.”

Researcher at the Institute for Government, Rhys Clyne, shared that a more likely number of cuts would be 25,000. 

He added that the expanded roles in policymaking, which were necessary in order to follow through with the EU referendum and Brexit could be the most at-risk. 

Trade unions across the country have warned that cuts of any type could undermine the government’s plans to shift civil service jobs outside of Whitehall. 

It is believed that the move to incorporate more civil service roles in other counties and nations within the UK is part of Boris Johnson’s efforts to “level up” any areas that seem to have been left behind. 

The Prime Minister has not expressed what exactly the “levelling up” entails or which areas are most likely to be affected by it. 

The revelation comes shortly after MPs and peers were apprehensive about the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s plans for similar job cut slaughter. 

The plan by FDCO would see almost 10 percent of jobs sliced by 2025. 

In the midst of ongoing humanitarian crises in multiple countries, the climate emergency and COVID-19, many argue that these cuts could not have been at a worse time. 

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