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PCS demands cuts U-turn at 'demoralised' Border Force

Border Force union PCS demanded an urgent reversal of Con-Dem cuts

Border Force union PCS demanded an urgent reversal of Con-Dem cuts following a critical report by MPs yesterday.

The Commons public accounts committee criticised bosses' "extremely poor" record on staffing and inadequate IT systems.

Committee chair Margaret Hodge complained that a cut in staff of 500 between 2010 and 2012 was immediately followed by spending to increase the number of frontline staff from 7,600 to 8,000.

"Paying out redundancy and then rehiring staff is bad value for money and demonstrates poor planning," she said.

Plans for 2013-14 involved a 4 per cent rise in the budget - followed by cuts in the following two years.

Ms Hodge said: "The morale of staff is at rock bottom."

She added that the the Border Force had admitted that it had missed eight of its 19 seizure and detection targets.

Prioritisation of passenger checks at ports and airports had come at the expense of other duties like the examination of freight for illicit goods and checks on lorries for concealed migrants.

The Border Force had also confirmed that it was unable to meet and check up to 90,000 private planes or private boats arriving in Britain each year.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "These are exactly the issues we have consistently warned about in the last few years, given the scale of cuts being demanded.

"But we were often ignored and even vilified by senior officials and ministers.

"Instead of treating its own staff as the problem, the Home Office must urgently accept the importance of investing in resources."


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