The Work Foundation criticises the Coalition's public sector job cuts
The Work Foundation has accused the coalition of bearing a limited understanding of the impact of public sector cuts.
The Work Foundation has published a report, named ‘Public loss, private gain?’ that has raised concerns about the scale and pace of public sector job losses.
The report cites the recent West Coast Main Line re-tendering debacle as an example of the potential impact of a loss of vital public sector skills.
Recent events at the Department for Transport have been frequently blamed on ‘brutal’ cuts, and the foundation claims that they could be indicative of a much wider problem. The West Coast Main Line event alone will allegedly cost the taxpayer £100 million.
The report also notes that many redundant public sector workers simply became inactive rather than finding and moving into new work.
Work Foundation director Ian Brinkley therefore purports that the government has some ‘major blind spots’ when it comes to seeing the impact such cuts are having on the national economy.
"These cuts are progressing at a rate not yet seen in the UK; however the government appear to have little knowledge of what this is doing to the labour market or the skills and experience of the public sector workforce”, he warned.
The Work Foundation also questioned the government’s claims that cutting public sector pay would help private sector employment levels to recover. According to the report, such claims were ‘not convincing’ given high levels of unemployment and lack of demand.
Brinkley explains that the Work Foundation’s analysis shows that “claims of a previously 'bloated' public sector and unsustainable job growth have been greatly exaggerated. Neither is there compelling evidence that a small public sector is essential for economic growth”.
The report concludes by claiming that public sector expansion instigated by the Labour government was not ‘excessively large’ compared to similar periods of public sector growth in other developed countries.