DTI jobs axed as part of Treasury spending review

Up
to 1,000 jobs at the Department of Trade in Industry’s head office are expected
to be cut as part of chancellor Gordon Brown’s spending review.

The
cutback, as well as a £160m redirection in the DTI’s business support funding
and the relocation of hundreds of jobs out of London, are to be announced by
Brown on Monday.

Trade
and industry secretary Patricia Hewitt initially offered to cut 600 jobs from
the DTI’s 4,200 strong head office and relocate another 900 staff out of
London. A Treasury request to lose a further 700 jobs, saving up to £30m a
year, was reduced to 400 after Hewitt warned the DTI would be unable to operate
effectively.

The
department’s funding for business support is also to be reduced by £160m. The
saving has been made possible by the DTI cutting its portfolio of business
support schemes from about 100 to 10. The money is to be redirected back into
other DTI operations, including the regional development agencies.

Despite
the reductions, the department is understood to have won a 3.2 per cent overall
increase in its budget, including a 6.6 per cent rise for science and
innovation funding.

DTI
insiders said Hewitt considered the budget increase a “real terms” rise and a
good deal for the department.

By
Paul Yandall

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