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Public sector job losses “will reach 750,000”

22 October 2010

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Public sector job losses will exceed government predictions and reach 750,000, a leading economist has warned.

John Philpott, chief economic adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) said the figure takes into consideration the full impact of public sector reductions.

Chancellor George Osborne announced in his Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) on Wednesday that spending cuts will lead to 490,000 public sector jobs being axed.

But Dr Philpott said the CSR had “conveniently” failed to mention the Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR) forecast that 660,000 public sector jobs will go between now and 2015/16.

He said: “Unless the chancellor decides to reverse spending cuts pencilled in for 2015/16 he should admit this will be the outcome, at least until the OBR publishes its next forecast on 29 November.

“Moreover, the CSR does not acknowledge the likelihood that very large percentage cuts in the cost of administration across Whitehall, local authorities and even ostensibly ring-fenced areas of spending such as the NHS, will have a disproportionately negative impact on some of the most labour intensive parts of the public sector.

“As a result, the CIPD estimates that the public sector jobs impact of the CSR to 2014/15 will be above 500,000, with total job losses rising close to three-quarters of a million by 2015/16 if the coalition sticks to its existing longer term spending plans.”

He added that in the face of huge job cuts, it made “little sense” to expect pay restraint or changes to working hours in the public sector because workers would be getting nothing in return.

Copyright © Press Association 2010