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Last Updated: Friday, 15 July, 2005, 14:08 GMT 15:08 UK
Efficiency drive cuts 11,000 jobs
Civil servant protest
Trade unions have protested about the cuts
The civil service has cut 11,000 full-time jobs in the past year, according to National Statistics figures on efficiency savings.

The cuts have come without compulsory redundancies, the government says.

A spokesman said the figures showed progress on freeing up resources for "front line" services but trade unions say the public has suffered.

Despite the cuts, the number of public sector jobs rose by 72,000, including teachers, health staff and police.

The increases include 50,000 more staff in health and social services, 23,000 more in education, 9,000 more in public administration and 7,000 more (including civilians) in the police service.

Among other cuts were 7,000 from the armed forces, 6,000 from construction and 4,000 from other parts of the public sector.

Impact on services?

The Cabinet Office is highlighting the 11,000 full time equivalent jobs which have gone in the civil service.

The government has said it plans to cut 104,000 civil service jobs.

A Cabinet Office spokesman said: "This report provides strong evidence that the government is making progress towards its aim of releasing more resources to front line public services by delivering a more efficient civil service...

"But let's not forget that civil servants play a crucial role in delivering high quality public services across Britain and will be a vital part of the government's drive to move more resources to the front line."

He said the efficiency drive was not just about cuts but about moving staff to front line services.

Service fears

The Public and Commercial Services Union is among unions which went on strike about the cuts last year.

A spokesman said: "Whilst the government and some politicians will be applauding it... services are suffering."

He said face-to-face advice on job seeking and benefits in rural areas was being withdrawn.

And pensioners were having to use call centres to get access to pension credits instead of meeting advisers in person.

Public spending expert Professor Colin Talbot, from Nottingham University, said the government's view of the civil service cuts was misleading.

"Most civil servants are front-line staff and most of the jobs that have been cut are front-line jobs," he said.

"This may be justified because of efficiency changes - doing more things over the web for example - but it is not cutting out bowler-hatted Whitehall officials in favour of nurses as they would seem to like us to believe."

Brown axes 104,000 civil servants
12 Jul 04 |  UK Politics

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