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Liz Truss to ‘wage war’ on Whitehall waste, but Labor brands politics ‘down to the bottom’ on public sector pay | Political news

Conservative leadership contender Liz Truss is vowing to “wage war on Whitehall waste” with proposals to slash civil service pay.

The Foreign Secretary says he will save up to £11 billion a year by adjusting pay for regional jobs, scrapping roles focused on diversity and inclusion and ending paid holidays for union officials to do their jobs.

But Labor calls his plans a “race to the bottom on public sector workers’ pay and rights”.

Political center. Truss and Sunak clash on the latest hosting

Most of the £8.8bn of savings Mrs Truss has put forward will come from paying civil servants in poorer parts of the country less than their counterparts in wealthier areas such as the South East and London.

He argues that replacing national pay boards with regional ones will ensure that pay “accurately reflects where [officials] to work and stop the withdrawal of local enterprises that cannot compete with public sector pay.”

The Minister of Foreign Affairs adds: “There is too much bureaucracy and outdated groupthink in Whitehall.

“If I get to Downing Street, I will put an end to this and run a government that focuses relentlessly on what’s on offer for the British public and delivers value to hard-working taxpayers.”

But Alex Thomas, an expert at the Institute of Government, said it would be “impossible” to make such huge savings without targeting wider public sector pay such as teachers or nurses, as the civil service pay bill reached £9bn. general.

“Waking up, to wake up”

Abolishing diversity and inclusion roles could save £12m a year, according to Team Truss, which says there are at least 326 such jobs across government departments.

One of its backers, Brexit Opportunities Minister Jacob Rees-Mogg, told Sky News that the roles were simply “a job-creation scheme that was created after a wake-up call”.

He adds: “I think having diversity in employment is up to the people making the employment decisions, not someone who works as a diversity officer.

“And some of the nonsense we get. We had a training program called check yo privilege, now what is that? Why is the civil service wasting people’s time on a course that doesn’t help people do themselves? better jobs.”

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Jacob Rigg-Mogg tells Sky News diversity and civil service staff ‘don’t do anything useful’.

Other plans include further savings by cutting holiday entitlement from 27 to 25 days, as well as moving more civil servants out of London.

Mr Rees-Mogg said the latter would be “crucial” for “levelling” because “then you’re creating jobs for people who live all over the country, rather than a very narrow London focus”.

But Labor deputy leader Angela Rayner said the raft of plans would “reduce the pay of northerners, worsening the divide that already exists”, adding:

Deputy Head of Labor Angela Reiner attends a Challah baking ceremony organized by Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis as part of his Shabbat UK project at Central United Synagogue in London. Picture date: Tuesday, April 26, 2022
Angela Rayner calls the programs “a race to the bottom”

Civil service unions have also attacked the policy, with PCS union general secretary Mark Serwotka saying Ms Truss “will face opposition at every turn”.

He adds: “Civil servants are not political tools to be used and abused for one person’s ambitions, they are hardworking people who run the country day in and day out and they deserve respect.”

Prospect union general secretary Mike Clancy called the pitch “a hollow attempt to garner friendly headlines for his constituents” as part of the Conservative leadership race, saying: has emerged in recent years.”

But a campaign source defended his plan, saying: “Liz is a low-tax, small-state conservative with a distrust of big government. He will sweep Whitehall and take the radical steps needed to tackle the waste and inefficiency that lie at the heart. to the government.

“He will make sure every official knows his job is to deliver on the promises made in the 2019 manifesto and the things the public care about.”

Liz Truss to ‘wage war’ on Whitehall waste, but Labor brands politics ‘down to the bottom’ on public sector pay | Political news

Source Liz Truss to ‘wage war’ on Whitehall waste, but Labor brands politics ‘down to the bottom’ on public sector pay | Political news

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