United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered ministers to develop plans to cut over 90,000 civil service jobs to free up billions for tax cuts.
Johnson met with cabinet ministers on May 11 and asked them to report back within a month on how they can reduce the 475,000-strong workforce of the civil service by a fifth to pre-pandemic levels.
“We have got to cut the cost of government to reduce the cost of living,” Johnson told The Daily Mail, which first reported the planned cuts.
“Every pound the government pre-empts from the taxpayer is money they can spend on their own priorities, on their own lives,” Johnson also said.
Johnson added that the Civil Service had become “swollen” during the pandemic.
The move is expected to save about £3.5 billion ($4.27 billion) a year.
The government said that the details of the plan would be released in due course.
The announcement appears to expand on a comment Johnson made during the Queen’s Speech debate earlier this week when he spoke of the need to “cut the cost of government.”
Dave Penman, the general secretary of the civil servants’ union, described the announcement as “either another headline-grabbing stunt or a reckless slash-and-burn to public services.”
A Labor spokesperson criticized the announcement, saying, “Instead of implementing an emergency budget, they have chosen to let down working people once again through pointless rhetoric and lack of action.”
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