Tories plan to axe 4,000 DTI jobs

More than 4,000 jobs would be shed at the Department of Trade and Industry under plans being unveiled by the Conservatives.

More than 4,000 jobs would be shed at the Department of Trade and Industry under plans being unveiled by the Conservatives.

The proposals are the latest instalment in Tories' programme, being drawn up by corporate troubleshooter David James, for saving taxpayers' cash by slimming down government.

They will be launched formally by shadow chancellor Oliver Letwin and shadow industry secretary Stephen O'Brien.

Ahead of the launch, Mr Letwin said: "It is time to slim down Labour's fat government.

"These proposals for the DTI will streamline its functions and stop government from eating up so much of people's money."

Mr O'Brien added: "Under this completely reformed and refocused department, British business will be better supported, less burdened and free to get on with taking the risks and creating the jobs, reward, profit and investment upon which we all depend."

The James committee is recommending a reduction of 4,060 posts at the DTI, made up of 3,395 civil servants at the department's London HQ, and 665 staff currently working for UK Trade & Investment (UKTI).

UKTI is a government organisation that supports companies in the UK trading internationally and overseas enterprises seeking to locate in the UK.

The Tories said that all the job losses would be achieved through natural wastage and voluntary redundancy.

The remaining headquarters staff would be focused on identifying and removing barriers to business growth, deregulation of business, representing business interests elsewhere in government, in the EU and to overseas governments and performing residual statutory functions.

All the major parties are committed to shrinking the DTI.

As part of a wide-ranging plan to slim down the civil service unveiled in Chancellor Gordon Brown's spending review last month, about 1,500 jobs will be cut from the DTI and other trade-related bodies.

The Liberal Democrats have proposed scrapping the DTI altogether.

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