I am entirely in favour of civil service redundancies, and even more of local authority redundancies. We have a crazy economy, heavily dependent on vastly over-rewarded people who perform useless financial casino services for much of the world. The taxation this brings in goes to fund many more people who fill in forms all day relating to government targets.
The number of people who actually make anything is miniscule. The entire economy is not sustainable.
I suggested how to cut the foreign office here:
and gave more general views on cuts here:
I support redundancies. But I do not support the attempts – started by New Labour – to cut civil service redundancy terms for existing employees. Civil servants entered into employment with a contract with their employees. New Labour lost two court cases in their efforts to unilaterally revoke the contractual redundancy rights of civil servants. The notion that the government may now pass primary legislation to give itself the right to change redundancy temrs of existing employees is contrary to natural justice. Private sector employers cannot unilaterally change employment contracts of existing staff. Nor should the public sector.
Redundancies are an initial cost which must be found, but lead to long term savings. As I have argued in relation to the FCO in particular, sales of government property should be used to help meet the redundancy costs. The MOD has vast tracts of land and a great many buildings which could be sold. Chevening, Dorneywood, Windsor Castle and Osborne House would bring a few quid. If you can enact primary legislation to cut civil service redundancy pay, you can enact primary legislation to allow you to sell those. I would nationalise the estate of the Duke of Westminster too, then sell it off. That would meet a lot of the redundancy costs.
I have no objection to changing conditions of employment – including on redundancy and pensions – for new employees, within reason. The impact on recruitment and retention must be carefully weighed. But to abrogate existing employees’ contracts is plain wrong.