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'Half of civil servants deserve the sack', ex-trade minister Lord Digby Jones tells MPs.


Lord Digby Jones claims the civil service could be more effective if it had 50 per cent less staff. He has told a committee of MPs that the civil service could be halved and still provide value of money to taxpayers.


Ex-trade minister Lord Digby Jones said he was 'amazed' how many civil servants 'deserved the sack'.

'Frankly the job could be done with half as many, it could be more productive, more efficient, it could deliver a lot more value for money for the taxpayer,' Lord Jones told the public administration committee.


'I was amazed, quite frankly, at how many people deserved the sack and yet that was the one threat that they never ever worked under, because it doesn't exist.'


In another attack, the former head of the Confederation of British Industry, said when he was a junior minister it was 'one of the most dehumanising and depersonalising experiences' anyone could have, it was reported by the BBC.


The colourful Lord Jones spent a year as a minister as part of Gordon Brown's original 'government of all the talents' before he stepped down during October's reshuffle.


It's not the first time Lord Jones has challenged the Government. Earlier this month he branded Mr Brown's flagship VAT cut ' pointless', 'fatuous' and doomed to failure from the start.

He said it had always been obvious that the VAT cut would not boost the economy.






Stand for Prime Minister Digby. Please.


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This government more than any other has a vested interest in not cutting civil servant numbers or indeed the number of people who work directly or indirectly for the government having worked so hard to build them up to the current level!


The impact on the unemployment figures would be massive and calls of 'Labours not working' would again echo across the land?


Far better to borrow the money to subsidise them and their pensions, holidays, sick pay et al and let the next generation worry about repaying it all?


Sod you Jack - I'm all right comes to mind?

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colin - 2009-01-15 7:49 PM


So what he seems to be saying is he was incaperble of sorting his own department out?


Nope - he was only a junior minister, an advisor, during the short period of time before he resigned out of frustration at not being listened to.

No Executive authority. Pity.

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This is not the first time someone from what I call the "real world" has openly criticised the culture of government employees


I seem to remember that a guy from Sainsbury’s some time ago looked at the NHS "culture" and gave up - saying that the ethos was all wrong.


Similar happened on an excellent program on the Telly about 2 years or so ago where the decision making process in the NHS was exposed as being little more than a joke.


The reason is that those that run these government organisations just feel that money is of little concern to them. If they had to balance the books, make a profit or they lost their jobs, they would probably have a breakdown.




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