No phoney war - the jobs Blitz has been and gone for 30,000
Posted on 03/09/2010 @ 12:54:32
Is Britain’s public sector going through its own version of the “Phoney War”? Historians tell us that the period September 1939 to April 1940 was so called because, despite Britain having declared war on Nazi Germany in that September, few shots were fired in anger until France was invaded in the April of the next year.
Some observers are seeing this as analogous with the wholesale unemployment that they foresee as a result of the Coalition’s plans for reductions in public expenditure. The line goes that the first declaration was immediately after the general election in May, but that the real casualties will not be seen until after the Comprehensive Spending Review reports in October. Unfortunately for many this comparison does not hold up. Whilst it is undoubtedly true that October will see a step change in reductions, there are already casualties. Even the lowest estimate leads us to believe that some 30,000 jobs have already gone in local government in the last six months. Whole organisations have been either closed or told of their imminent demise. In local government the audit commission is, of course, the latest one. But for even the most fervent supporters of this policy of expenditure reduction there is a further worrying statistic.
A report from accountants Wilkins Kennedy stated that 168 firms in the public service supply business had collapsed in the first six months of this year. This was 47% up on the same period last year, despite an overall 5% decrease in all insolvencies over the same period. This, of course, does not cover the failure of hundreds of small businesses, who had supply links to individual public bodies. This is a salutary warning for those who say that the public sector must “take the pain”. The public sector does not exist in isolation and is a key part of the economy. Maybe for many the Blitz is about to begin, but for many, it has already happened.
The Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers - registered in England and Wales .
Reg. Office: Hope House, 45 Great Peter Street , London , SW1P 3LT. Reg. No. 02771210. VAT Reg. No. 875 4803 90.