Top earning civil servants would have to reapply for their jobs and face a cut in pay and pensions under plans put forward by the Liberal Democrats.
Speaking at the party’s conference in Bournemouth, Lib Dem shadow chancellor Vince Cable said non-front line public sector workers earning more than £100,000 a year would be forced to reapply for their jobs rather than sacking junior staff or imposing sub-inflation pay deals.
“The coward’s way is to sack or squeeze the pay of low paid public sector workers,” said Cable. “The correct way is to start at the top: require every non-front line public sector employee on £100,000 or more to reapply for their jobs. Those allowed back would take a cut in pay and public sector pension entitlement.”
A broad group of more than 3,300 professionals are employed at this level, in 55 government departments and agencies.
Cable said a reduction in the pay and numbers of the senior civil service workforce would be matched by a similar cull within the political class.
“Politicians cannot lead a crusade against self-servicing public sector extravagance unless they lead from the front, so MPs and ministers must accept deep cuts in numbers and fringe benefits like pensions,” he added.