10 August 2010
The Ministry of Justice is planning for job cuts on an unprecedented scale as the first indication of the savings demanded by the coalition government is revealed.
An announcement made to staff today reveals that around £2 billion of the MoJ’s £9 billion budget will be axed.
This is equivalent to the entire budget for prisons, or the money the department spends each year on courts and tribunals.
Cuts on this scale cannot be delivered without closing prisons and bringing courts to a standstill. The union also fears that about 15,000 of the MoJ’s 80,000 staff could be at risk of losing their jobs.
Staff have been told that many savings will have to be made within the first two years of the next spending review period, which will be announced on 20 October.
The union believes that the government should be creating jobs, not cutting them, to help the economy to grow as the recovery from recession remains fragile. The department should also focus on alternative ways to deliver justice, rather than simply adding to the growing prison population.
Many services, including the collection of fines by the courts, are already under severe strain and the union fears these cuts will leave the department unable to function.
PCS has previously said that 25% cuts in the Crown Prosecution Service, which would mean around 1,800 job losses, would make it virtually impossible for the staff that remain to adequately deal with workloads and prosecute cases effectively.
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka:
“This is the first indication of the true scale of the cuts being imposed upon departments by this coalition government, and it paints a devastating picture.
It is clear that the civil service will simply not be able to cope. We will take every opportunity to remind the government and the public that there is an alternative and these politically-motivated cuts are entirely avoidable.”