British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is seeking to cut 91,000 civil service jobs in a desperate bid to ease the cost of living crisis.
Johnson told his cabinet on Thursday he wanted to cut the government workforce by a fifth, which would save $4.2 billion.
“We need to cut government costs to reduce the cost of living,” Johnson told the Daily mail.
The Prime Minister’s popularity has recently fallen to new lows due to the cost of living crisis, with the consumer price index hitting 8.7% in 2022, nearly double the peak of 4.4% scheduled for October 2021, government records show.
The Labor Party criticized the move, telling The Post: ‘The cabinet has said it will focus on the cost of living crisis facing families across the country.’
“Instead of putting in place an emergency budget, they chose to let workers down once again with unnecessary rhetoric and inaction,” the party spokesman added.
Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union, said The Post Johnson’s decision “is not about efficiency”.
“This is about the prime minister trying to create a smokescreen to distract from his total mess of a government,” Serwotka told the Post. “He has chosen to provoke our cost of living crisis and is desperate to point the blame somewhere – and he has chosen to point the finger at the hardworking members of the PCS who have kept the country functioning through the pandemic.
“Our members will not be scapegoats for a failing government,” Serwotka added.
A government spokesperson defended the move, telling the Post: “The Prime Minister and ministers are clear that the civil service is doing a remarkable job for the public and advancing government priorities.
“But when individuals and businesses across the country are faced with rising costs, the public rightly expects their government to lead by example and operate as efficiently as possible.”
The recent British council elections have proven how little trust the British people have in their leader, Johnson’s Conservative Party has had abysmal results compared to previous years after losing nearly 500 seats earlier this month.
The prime minister wants the civil service to return to its 2016 employment figures in the coming years, a government spokesman has confirmed.
Civil service employment has reportedly increased since then to 475,000 full-time equivalent jobs, BBC News reports. Johnson hopes to reduce that number to around 384,000.
Johnson suggested the billions saved could be used for tax cuts, telling the Daily mail“Every pound the government takes from the taxpayer is money they can spend on their own priorities, on their own lives.”
The Conservative Party declined to comment.