Jacob Rees-Mogg defends PM’s plan to cut 91,000 Civil Service jobs

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Jacob Rees-Mogg said the Prime Minister’s decision to slash one fifth of the Whitehall workforce within three years would take numbers back to pre-2016 levels. The Government Efficiency Minister also took a swipe at unions furious over the £3.5billion cuts proposal.

Announcing the plan, Boris Johnson said: “We have got to cut the cost of government to reduce the cost of living.”

And he suggested the billions saved could go into tax cuts. Mr Rees-Mogg defended the move yesterday.

He told Sky News: “I know it sounds eye-catching but it’s just getting back to the Civil Service we had in 2016 since then we’ve had to take on people for specific tasks.

“So dealing with the aftermath of Brexit and dealing with Covid, so there’s been a reason for that increase, but we’re now trying to get back to normal.”

Speaking to the Daily Express, Mr Rees-Mogg also praised hard-working civil servants but attacked their trade union for its “desire to be idle”. Hundreds of senior and middle-ranking Whitehall mandarins backed flexible home-working motions earlier this week at their FDA union’s annual conference.

Unions have reacted with fury over job cuts, with the Public and Commercial Services Union warning that national strike action was “very much on the table”.

Dave Penman, general secretary of the FDA, called it a continuation of ministers’ “civil service culture wars, or even worse, ill-thought out, rushed job slashes that won’t lead to a more costeffective government”.

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