Why can’t Labour and Lib Dems spare us the false allegations and the crocodile tears. Today they claim to have discovered that Tory plans for a more efficient public sector mean fewer public sector jobs. So do Labour plans, if they knew how to implement them and if they were honest about them. The whole point of doing more with less is to employ fewer people to deliver the given service, and to buy fewer items from outside to provide the service.
This does not mean compulsory redunancies.In a 6 million strong public sector workfoce it is likely 300,000 a year will retire or resign for one reason or another. Some, like teachers, nurses and doctors, need replacing. Other posts can be abolished and more efficient weays of working introduced to start to control the costs. It’s scarcely rocket science, or worthy of “Shock, horror” headlines. The aim is a smaller public sector delivering a bigger service where needed, and doing less where it has been pursuing the wasteful, unpopular or needlessly interfering.
The Conservative plans to cut to pay in the public sector in the interests of greater equality should appeal to Lib dems and Labour. It is one of those strange ironies that a Labour government which talks the language of more equality should have presided over such an explosion of top pay in the public sector. Those would be both easy and popular cuts.