Jeremy Hunt tells civil servants: “Half of you will possibly be fired”


Every single member of staff in the government department responsible for ensuring our Olympic summer was a success has been told they could lose their job as Jeremy Hunt’s cuts bite, the PCS says.

Just weeks after the Olympics and Paralympics captured the nation’s heart, all 400 civil servants in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport have been handed ‘at risk of redundancy’ letters.

The department’s administrative budget was halved by the former culture secretary Mr Hunt, who is now in charge of our NHS, and the department has refused to rule out compulsory redundancies as it moves to axe a quarter of its staff.

Many of the staff not only worked on the Olympics, but were also responsible for the Queen’s diamond jubilee celebrations and the successful switchover from analogue to digital television.

The union says their work has touched every person in the UK, but this news shows how little regard ministers have for their staff as they plough ahead with unnecessary cuts that are making our economic situation worse.

Mr Hunt enraged civil servants at his first all-staff meeting in July 2010 when he said he would be going further than other ministers by making cuts of up to 50%, adding: “We’ve made a small start with changes in policy on ministerial cars which is an absolute pain but we’re all getting used to it.”

When asked at the meeting, “Are you saying that possibly 50% of us are going to get the sack?”, Mr Hunt replied: “Possibly, yes.”

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “This legacy from Jeremy Hunt is a new definition of cruelty, threatening staff with the sack while the Olympic spirit is still alive across the country.

“We will do everything we can to fight these and other cuts that are not only not working, they are making our economic situation worse.”

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