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From: The Socialist issue 913, 24 August 2016: Kick out the Blairites

Search site for keywords: Civil Service - Redundancies - Government - Cuts - Redundancy - Public services - Public sector - George Osborne - Budget

500m on civil service redundancies in two years

PCS strike on budget day, 20 March 2013 , photo Paul Mattsson

PCS strike on budget day, 20 March 2013 , photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

A civil service worker

Whitehall spent more than half a billion pounds on redundancy payments in two years, according to its own major departments' figures, recently published by the Telegraph.

The Tory paper is very specific in its outrage over who gets large government payouts. Its owners have been parasites on public funds for generations.

They raise a good point though. How many nurses, doctors, teachers or firefighters could be funded with the money spent on firing civil servants desperately required to carry out the basic functions of the state?

Just three people, a bunch of Whitehall apparatchiks Cameron called his 'advisors', received 1.3 million - before transferring straight to another department after his resignation. Meanwhile, around 90,000 workers have been laid off since 2010, with proposals for another 100,000 despite increasing workloads.

We demand an end to the contempt of the 1% for our public servants. Reverse all public service cuts and sell-offs.

When the ruling class agitates for an end to government profligacy, it means sacking workers without proper redundancy payments. In fact, bosses are already developing policy proposals to cut redundancy payments, despite having stated the budget is balanced following the pensions dispute of 2011.

When the government cuts funds from our public services, it's because we need to "pay down the deficit" or because "the last Labour government overspent". They dream of creating an emptied-out 'night-watchman state' that can only really exist in the fantasies of free marketeers like George Osborne and Sajid Javid.

In reality, public sector cuts are made to fund the next payout or tax cut for the super-rich. When the establishment righteously declares we need to be 'doing more for less', what it really means is that bosses should be getting more for less.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
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