REDUNDANCIES and privatisation have seen public-sector employment fall to its lowest level for 70 years, a union study showed yesterday.
Research by GMB reveals that jobs in the public sector today represent 16.9 per cent of the labour market — the lowest figure since 1947.
The union pointed out that even under Margaret Thatcher’s Tory government of the 1980s, the public-sector share of employment did not fall below 20 per cent.
But since 2010 almost one million public-sector jobs have gone due to cuts and privatisation with most of the jobs lost in local government, the GMB said.
The report also states that an estimated £5 billion has been cut from council budgets since 2010, and that spending on expensive but poorly paid agency workers has increased by £2.5bn since 2012-13.
GMB national secretary Rehana Azam said: “These shocking figures are a stark reminder of the scale of the catastrophe that is befalling our public services.
“Any sensible opportunities for efficiencies are long gone — funding reductions are now cutting into sheer bone.
“GMB’s members are performing miracles but the vital services they deliver are being stripped back, hollowed out and denied the resources they need, and workers are being denied the fair pay rises they deserve.
“Enough is enough. We need to properly fund public services so they can cope with sharply rising demand, and real pay rises for the heroes in the workforce who sacrifice so much and are being denied the reasonable standard of living they deserve.”