Shaking up government offices could save £800 million a year in public funds, MPs said today - prompting criticism from civil servants' union PCS.
Labour MP Margaret Hodge urged an end to the "financial silo" mentality of senior civil servants following a report from the Commons public accounts committee.
Britain has more than five million square metres of office space - and handing control to a central agency could cut costs from £1.8 billion to £1bn by 2020, she said.
The government property unit "should also get on with selling buildings, rather than holding on in the hope of a future rise in property prices," she added.
But Public and Commercial Services Union general secretary Mark Serwotka was sceptical.
He said: "The question from MPs shouldn't be how can departments cope with fewer staff, but why are they being forced to in the first place.
"Instead of pressing on with more damaging cuts the government should be investing to improve services and help growth."
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