– Ministry of Defence to axe 7,000 more civilian jobs (Guardian, Friday 29 July 2011):
The Ministry of Defence is to axe a further 7,000 civilian jobs as part of the department’s desperate efforts to bring its soaring budget under control, the Guardian has learned.
A letter signed by the permanent secretary, Ursula Brennan, will be sent to all staff explaining that cuts are necessary and conceding that the move “will raise questions which cannot be answered immediately”.
The decision has infuriated union leaders and defence officials who say they were not consulted. They accused the department of acting in a cavalier fashion without thinking through the consequences.
The move means the defence civil service, which is responsible for scrutinising contracts to ensure they do not run over budget, will have been cut by a third within nine years.
Last week, the defence secretary, Liam Fox, outlined proposals to cut a further 7,000 military jobs from the army between 2015 and 2020. His statement to the Commons made no reference to civilian posts at the MoD, which are already being cut as part of last year’s strategic defence and security review (SDSR).
The review outlined plans to get rid of 25,000 civil servants between now and 2015, and the fresh announcement, which could come on Friday, will add a further 7,000 to that total by 2020.