UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is looking to scrap 91,000 jobs in the civil service industry in a desperate bid to ease the cost of living crisis.
Johnson told his cabinet on Thursday he wants to reduce the government’s workforce by a fifth, which would subsequently save $4.2 billion.
“We have got to cut the cost of government to reduce the cost of living,” Johnson told the Daily Mail.
The prime minister’s popularity recently plummeted to new lows as a result of the cost of living crisis, with the consumer prices index rising to 8.7 percent in 2022 — almost double the 4.4 percent peak predicted in Oct. 2021. government records show.
The Labour Party slammed the move, telling The Post, “The Cabinet said they would focus on the cost of living crisis facing families across the country.”
“Instead of implementing an emergency budget they have chosen to let down working people once again through pointless rhetoric and lack of action,” the party’s spokesperson added.
Mark Serwotka, the general secretary for the Public and Commercial Services Union, told the Post Johnson’s move “is not about efficiency.”
“This is about the Prime Minister trying to create a smokescreen to detract from his utter shambles of a government,” Serwotka told The Post. “He has chosen to cause our cost of living crisis and is desperate to point the blame somewhere – and he has chosen to point the finger at hard working PCS members who kept the country running throughout the pandemic.”
“Our members will not be the scapegoats for a failing government,” Serwotka added.
A government spokesperson defended the move, telling The Post, “The PM and Ministers are clear that the civil service does an outstanding job delivering for the public and driving progress on the government’s priorities.
“But when people and businesses across the country are facing rising costs, the public rightly expect their government to lead by example and run as efficiently as possible.”
The recent UK council elections proved just how little trust the British people have in their leader, as Johnson’s Conservative Party recorded abysmal results compared to previous years after losing almost 500 seats earlier this month.
The prime minister wants the Civil Service to return to its 2016 employment numbers in the coming years, a government spokesperson confirmed.
Civil service numbers reportedly grew since then to 475,000 full-time equivalent jobs, BBC News reports. Johnson now hopes to slash that number down to around 384,000.
Johnson suggested the billions saved could be used for tax cuts, telling the Daily Mail, “Every pound the government pre-empts from the taxpayer is money they can spend on their own priorities, on their own lives.”
The Conservative Party declined to comment.