Budget announcement continues era of uncertainty for public servants

24 March 2010
For immediate release

The Chancellor's Budget announcement continues the widespread uncertainty that senior public servants face about their job security, the FDA said today. The FDA is the union representing senior managers and professionals in the civil service.

FDA general secretary Jonathan Baume said:

"The Government has failed to set out the real level of cuts that are facing government departments and the wider public sector.

"This afternoon individual departments have announced some dramatic cuts, which have not been previously discussed with unions or staff. However, the Pre-Budget Report in December 2009 acknowledged that most departments would face cuts in the region of 17% over three years. Until a Comprehensive Spending Review is conducted, we are merely seeing the tip of the iceberg and public servants will have no certainty about their job security and career prospects. Moreover, this 17% figure is predicated on the Government's growth forecasts, whose accuracy continues to be questioned by independent analysts.

"There will also be real - and legitimate - concern about the 1% cap on pay increases for public sector staff for 2011-13."

In his Budget speech the Chancellor also announced the relocation of 15,000 civil service posts out of London in the next five years.

Baume said: "There has been no consultation with the unions and staff on the Government's plan to relocate 15,000 staff outside of London. It is hard to see how this can be carried out given the reluctance of civil servants at all levels to leave London. Furthermore, the vast majority of civil servants employed in London work in local networks or support London-based ministers."

Notes for editors

1. The FDA is the trade union and professional body representing 18,000 of the UK's senior civil and public servants. Our members include policy advisors, senior managers, tax inspectors, economists, statisticians, accountants, special advisers, government lawyers, diplomats, crown prosecutors and NHS managers.

2. Members in HMRC are represented by the Association of Revenue and Customs (ARC), a section of the FDA.

3. The FDA (formerly the First Division Association) should be referred to simply as "The FDA" and can be described as "the senior public servants' union".

4. For further information contact:

Jonathan Baume, FDA General Secretary, tel: 020 7401 5555 or 07976 951191.
Oliver Rowe, Communications Manager, tel: 020 7401 5588 or 07590 838696.