Friday 13 May 2022

Improving government efficiency


Civil servants perform no useful function, and we can simply sack 20% of them with no impact on government services or performance. That is, apparently, what the PM believes, and why he has asked every department to reduce its numbers by that arbitrary percentage, leading to an overall reduction of 90,000 jobs. It’s hardly as if there are any backlogs in, say, the Passport Office or the DVLA which might be exacerbated by an arbitrary 20% cut in staff numbers.

I suppose that, for the head of a cabinet which could easily reduce its headcount by 100% with only a net positive effect on government performance, a cut of a mere 20% might even look to be a bit on the cautious side. And I somehow doubt that, in calculating the cost savings involved by not paying 90,000 salaries, he has taken any account of the potential corresponding increase in expenditure on benefits (or pensions, for those ex-civil servants who decide that they will simply retire early rather than seek alternative employment). Then again, because there will be no one available to administer said benefits and pensions, maybe it doesn’t matter anyway. Another brilliant cost-saving ‘efficiency’.

Interestingly, one of the things he said was that he wanted civil service numbers to get back down to where they were in 2016. For all of 10 milliseconds, I found myself wondering what could possibly be significant about that date. Could there have been some strange event which subsequently required the government to employ thousands of extra civil servants to negotiate trade deals, to implement new border controls, or to replicate other functions previously performed elsewhere, such as in Brussels maybe? But luckily, now that Brexit is officially ‘done’, none of that is needed any more. Obviously. And those unicorns are still grazing happily on the sunlit uplands.

1 comment:

dafis said...

It's seriously incredible that over 90,000 were added to the payroll since 2016 and, as many suspect, a large slice of that growth was in some way or other linked to Brexit.

Brexit - a decision that was mismanaged, remains mismanaged and likely to be for ever thus. So what was the point of all these extra bodies ? To execute the decisions and related plans and programmes generated by our illustrious political leaders in conjunction with the wisdom advice of respected business leaders. Well, we ain't seen much of any of that have we. They spent so much time bitching at each other and various others in the EU, in other parts of the UK. Indeed had a fraction of the energy consumed in slagging each other off been devoted to working out detailed strategies aimed at delivering workable post departure arrangements we would now be in a far safer and saner place.

Instead we have the Madness of Boss Boris and his moronic minions.