Skip to comments.UK: Whitehall lines up ‘doomsday’ cutbacks
Posted on 07/04/2009 10:14:30 PM PDT by bruinbirdman
Secret doomsday plans for 20% cuts in public spending are being prepared by senior civil servants, who fear politicians are failing to confront the scale of the budget black hole.
Whitehall mandarins have begun creating detailed dossiers containing reductions in expenditure that are far deeper than the more modest savings being proposed by Labour and Conservative politicians.
The disclosure comes as Gordon Brown faces a mutiny inside No 10 over his failure to admit that a future Labour government would have to reduce public spending.
Downing Street advisers have warned the prime minister they are ready to quit unless he sacks the cabinet minister they blame for encouraging him to make misleading claims about budget figures.
They are demanding the removal of Shaun Woodward, the Northern Ireland secretary, who has a desk in Downing Street after being given a special role advising Brown on strategy.
The row threatens to undermine the prime ministers attempts to relaunch his struggling government and find a coherent strategy to take on the Conservatives.
Senior civil servants have let it be known that they are sceptical about the claims made by both main parties on public spending.
While Labour wants to increase expenditure despite the £175 billion budget deficit, the Tories, using figures from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), have acknowledged the need for cuts of up to 10%.
Mandarins, fearing a prolonged recession and a collapse in tax revenue, have begun planning for more severe cuts of up to 20%.
The dossiers will be handed to cabinet ministers the day after the next general election, whichever party wins.
Jonathan Baume, general secretary of the FDA, which represents senior civil servants, said: It could be even worse for some departments than the IFS has predicted.
Lord Turnbull, the former cabinet secretary, echoed the warning.
(Excerpt) Read more at timesonline.co.uk ...
"The two architects of Canadas programme review, Jocelyne Bourgon, who was the countrys top civil servant, and Marcel Massé, a former minister, cut 47,000 civil service jobs."
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