The Conservatives have accused the government of running a “glorified job creation scheme” after it emerged 4,634 civil servants were being paid full salaries despite having no official role.
The Tories estimated a total of £132m a year was being spent on these ‘non-jobs’ across the Civil Service, with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) the worst offender – employing 2,874 people, known as ‘pre-surplus staff’.
Shadow Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said: “The new year brings with it worrying uncertainty for millions in private sector jobs, who are really concerned about what [the] recession will mean for their families and the ability to pay their mortgage. Yet Labour ministers are treating Whitehall like a glorified job creation scheme.”
In a statement, HMRC said: “Our staff are entitled to pre-surplus status before their current job ends. It simply gives them priority in applying for new jobs in the department.”
The Tories unearthed the figures following a series of parliamentary questions.