A lot of public sector workers have waiting for the job cut hammer to fall (Although some of us have already seen the writing on the wall and left already). Now it seems that at least 100,000 public servants will receive bad news over the Christmas holidays or soon after as councils, police forces and other public services race to meet a deadline of 1 January to formally announce job cuts.
According to the Guardian an analysis of local authority documents reveals that the number of council redundancies directly resulting from the coalition's austerity measures is expected to break the 100,000 mark by early in the new year.
Council chiefs must reduce posts by 31 March in order to start making savings in their new reduced budgets, but by law they have to give staff 90 days' notice, meaning up to 140 councils that have not yet announced planned redundancies may break the news over the Christmas holiday period.
Eighty-two of the UK's 433 councils have already issued HR1 forms, which set out upper estimates of the numbers of workers they expect to have to make redundant, informing employees that their jobs are now at risk. The current total, as calculated by the GMB union, is 76,000. The remaining councils are expected to follow suit over the next three weeks, though some are opting to stomach the extra costs of salaries into their new budgets to avoid the negative publicity of laying people off at Christmas.
A flurry of new public sector redundancies will increase pressure on ministers. The government accepts predictions that 330,000 jobs will be lost in the public sector over the next four years, but insists that this will be compensated by a rise in private sector jobs.
If that is not bad enough then a quarter of government-backed charities and four our of 10 charities overall are expecting to make redundancies in the next year, a survey published today by the Charity Finance Directors Group, the Institute of Fundraising and consultants PWC finds.
These are only the start. The chances are that the cuts will total at least half a million in the public sector with serious knock on effects in the private sector. Despite the Coalition’s pathetic Pollyanna like hops, it looks like we will have high unemployment for a long time to come.