Letter: Civil defence

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The Independent Online
THE TONE of 'Bureaucrats stay in the pink' (17 October) was pure Thatcherite indignation at meddlesome civil servants living it up at the taxpayers' expense.

In the current climate, the limited amount of government spending should certainly come under scrutiny, but let us not be blinkered to the importance of all areas of public expenditure. Although desk-bound civil servants may not be on the cutting edge like doctors, police or fire-fighters, they still perform an important function.

Civil servants in all sectors have suffered several setbacks over the last 15 years in terms of pay, security and working conditions. The provision of decent facilities (which is the norm in the private sector) should therefore be encouraged and not derided.

Jeroen Weimar

London NW6