26 October 2010
Cleggawber says to councils “Please don’t sack people so fast – something will turn up”
Despite the fact that councils are to face huge spending cuts over the next few years, the Government is advising local authorites not to be too hasty in making compulsory redundancies over fears that local authorities are moving prematurely to sack staff.
According to the Guardian the Local Government Association said this week that around 100,000 local government jobs would be lost as a result of the comprehensive spending review.
Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, said: "How local authorities are anticipating these cuts is wildly different from one place to the next. Sheffield City Council is making massive efforts to deal with a very tight settlement and minimise enforced redundancies. Go to other places and you get a reaction that 'it's all the government's fault and I'm going to reach for the redundancy notice'.
"What we need to do is to play our part in central government, to try and show local authorities and others that they shouldn't immediately start issuing redundancy notices for savings that they can phase in over four years and where, through voluntary redundancies, natural wastage and so on, maybe the pressure isn't quite as great as they initially think it to be."
Maybe the pressure is not as great as it could be? It sounds as if Clegg is emulating Mr Micawber with the view that something will turn up,. Local councils facing huge cuts have little option but to shed staff and in huge numbers.
Perhaps Cleggawber was thinking of another quote form the same character:
Welcome poverty!..Welcome misery, welcome houselessness, welcome hunger, rags, tempest, and beggary! Mutual confidence will sustain us to the end!
Mutual confidence that Clegg has the Ministerial car and the trappings of office until his party faces meltdown in a few years time