Labour Research July 2011


Civilian job cuts doubled at MoD

News that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) will double the number of civilian job cuts this year to 8,000 has been described as “incomprehensible” by the professional workers’ union Prospect. Steve Jary, Prospect national secretary, said it was “short-termism gone mad”.

He said: “A few weeks ago MoD ruled out any increase on the 4,000 figure this year, saying it would be too risky to let more staff go in the current operational climate. Suddenly it is seized with panic and doubles the scale of job losses before it has even got approval from the Treasury to pay the redundancy bills.”

The MoD defended the move saying it was responding to a higher than expected demand for voluntary redundancy packages, prompting it to speed up its programme of 25,000 redundancies over four years. Earlier this year 14,000 MoD staff applied for the 4,000 early releases being offered.

Prospect has argued that the MoD can’t afford to lose in-house specialist skills on this sort of scale because of the impact on UK military capabilities. “There is absolutely no justification for rushing through these damaging cuts other than to meet the Treasury’s budget targets,” said Jary.

The MoD originally planned to lose 4,000 civilian posts in 2011-12, 8,000 in 2012-13 and 3,500 in 2013-14. Another 5,000 would go through privatisation, and the remainder of the 25,000 target would be lost through natural wastage.