MORE than half a million public-sector jobs face the axe, as redundancies caused by Tory spending cuts are likely to increase over the next few years, a new study revealed today.
More than 580,000 people working for the government could find themselves unemployed over the course of the current parliament, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS).
Plans outlined in the Conservative Party’s general election manifesto imply massive public-sector workforce reductions unless the government imposes further pay restraint, the think tank added.
The movement of workers into worse-paid jobs in the private sector, which helped to reduce unemployment during the last few years, would have to grow to prevent former public-sector workers spending a “significant” amount time out of work, it continued.
Luke Sibieta, of the IFS, said: “Given the historically large cuts to the public-sector workforce over the last parliament, it is encouraging to see increases in the numbers of public workers managing to find new jobs in the private sector.
“With the pace of workforce cuts set to accelerate in the coming years, the capacity of the private sector to absorb former public-sector workers will need to increase further to prevent them spending a significant amount of time out of work.”
Unison general secretary Dave Prentis warned that the cuts to civil servants and public-sector workers would render the country’s services inefficient and even threaten them altogether.
He said: “Our public services are already reeling from the many thousands of jobs axed since 2010. The staff who remain in post are desperately trying to cover the work of their former colleagues to minimise the impact on local communities.
“But the scale of jobs cuts looming will make it impossible for public servants to paper over the cracks any longer and the public will notice. “Services will disappear completely, or be scaled back so much that only a fraction of local residents can use them. We will all end up paying much more for local services.”
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Further huge cuts to the public sector risk knocking the recovery sideways and lead to great damage to our social fabric.
“The way to heal the public finances is to build a strong, growing economy in which successful companies and well-paid workers pay fair taxes.”