Unions fear 15,000 job losses in Justice Ministry

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Indy Politics

Staff unions fear that 15,000 jobs are at risk in a single government department, because of a circular sent to senior civil servants yesterday. The warning of the scale of cuts on the way in the Ministry of Justice is a foretaste of many more expected across Whitehall. Ken Clarke, the Justice Secretary, is believed to be the first cabinet minister to come forward with a plan to make cuts on the scale demanded by the Chancellor, George Osborne. He has told most departments to budget for reductions of between 25 and 40 per cent. Ann Beasley, director general of finance at the Ministry of Justice, warned staff, in a letter leaked to the Public and Commercial Services Union, that out of a budget of £9bn, savings of £2bn are expected, including £450m in headquarters and administrative costs – one-third of the total. The union claims that reductions of that size would cost the jobs of 15,000 of the ministry's 80,000 employees. Its general secretary, Mark Serwotka, warned that the Civil Service will "simply not be able to cope" if it is cut back on that scale.