Conflicting advice for Blair in first week

Employers and unions have already locked horns over the future of the public sector in light of Labour’s general election win.

The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) has called on Labour to “listen to the people” and “stop the arbitrary job cuts in the civil service”.

Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, demanded the government sit down with unions and discuss changes to the civil service.

“The prime minister has already made a commitment to a ‘fresh start’…[it] must include an end to the vilification of civil servants as ‘bureaucrats’ and an end to the way in which all the main parties have been competing over who can propose the most drastic cuts in civil service jobs,” he said.

However, the CBI has called on the newly elected government to make “courageous decisions” and continue public sector reforms.

Despite its reduced majority, CBI director general Sir Digby Jones said it was in the interests of the economy and the country that the government kept up with its efficiency drive.

Jones said: “Reforming the public sector to make it more efficient will require real political will, but it is vital if we are to secure quality public services across the UK.”

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