Staff cuts at the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) will not hinder the quality of frontline services, according to John Hutton.
The work and pensions secretary told MPs during departmental question time yesterday that staffing levels had fallen by the equivalent of 19,385 full-time staff since 2004.
The department aims to cut a total of 30,000 jobs by 2008 and has been subject to several days of strikes by unionists, who claim the cuts are leading to a deterioration of services at the DWP.
However, Hutton assured the House of Commons that the reductions, which are part of the government’s efficiency review, would not stop the regeneration of the Child Support Agency, benefits agencies or the department itself.
He said it was “right and proper” to instigate the efficiency measures, which are aimed at saving the taxpayer £1bn a year