Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Osborne on public sector job losses

With fiery incredulity, Sian Williams pressed George Osborne this morning about whether "decreasing the public sector headcount" means "job losses".

Mr Osborne's answer was accurate, but weaselly: it's not necessary to sack existing staff, you can just choose not to replace people as they leave or retire.

I would have loved for him instead to have emphasised that public sector employment is part of the problem, not the solution; that people on the dole are cheaper than people in unnecessary jobs; and that those freed from the public sector can find more productive employment in the private sector.

Would those who grumble about public sector job losses really suggest that we can improve our situation by employing more people in the public sector? Or do they think that the current level of public sector employment is exactly right?

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