Taxpayers pressure group critical of the swelling ranks of civil servants
Despite cuts across the public sector and David Cameron’s pledge of a “leaner, swifter” civil service, seven Whitehall departments increased staff numbers in the first three months of this year, according to research published yesterday.
The largest increase came at Energy and Climate Change, where the headcount in the department, its agencies and other public bodies increased by 113, or 4 per cent of the total payroll, between December 2011 and March 2012, said the TaxPayers’ Alliance report.
But the total of 361 additional staff in the seven departments was dwarfed by reductions of 7,740 elsewhere, with the biggest cuts seen at the Ministry of Defence, which lost 2,960 members of staff (5.2 per cent), excluding military personnel.
The pressure group’s political director Jonathan Isaby said that Energy Secretary Ed Davey was “letting down more responsible Cabinet colleagues” and taxpayers by allowing the workforce to swell from 2,816 to 2,929.
But an Energy Department spokesman said the rise was in line with agreed targets, and the extra staff were needed to deliver programmes including the Green Deal drive to improve household energy efficiency.
Mr Isaby said: “What these latest statistics show about DECC is that whilst the Prime Minister and Chancellor have emphasised the need for a reduction in the bloated public sector, this one department has monumentally failed to follow suit and make those necessary cutbacks.”
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