The public sector merry-go-round must grind to a halt

May 02, 2012 12:43 PM

Lucrative pay-outs followed by new contracts of employment are not uncommon in the public sector. However at a time when essential savings must be found, it is even more important that the so-called public sector merry-go-round grinds to a halt.

Only last week we exposed the record number of council employees receiving pay and perks packages worth more than £100,000. Staffordshire county council had 25 people receiving over £100,000 and of these at least 8 received loss of office payments. In order to find savings of £120 million over the next four years redundancies will be inevitable, on top of the £3.1 million in redundancy payments already paid out over the last three years.

This would have been a step forward if it was a one-off payment toward a better, leaner and more efficient county council. But it seems that this is not the case. In the past 3 years 171 council employees received redundancy payments, which included one employee receiving over £73,544 and 14 more than £50,000. However the council then reemployed 44 of these in 2009-10 and 2010-11 and this increased to almost double in 2011-12. Unfortunately, this is not a one-off. Stoke-on-Trent City Council shelled out more than £330,000 in redundancy payments to 25 employees only to re-employ them, one of them reappearing on the councils payroll just 27 days later.

The leader of the Liberal Democrats on the council has reacted with similar dismay:
"It's an extraordinary state of affairs. It looks like a very serious oversight. I can't see why they would have done this intentionally because it does not make any logical sense. This is a very significant amount of money and it highlights the need for a policy to change it. It isn't fair that some people are taking redundancy pay and then being redeployed while others are simply being redeployed or made redundant."

There seems to be more of an expensive reshuffling at taxpayers’ expense going on rather than true change for the better. Councils across the UK need to start making permanent and lasting savings, now.Lucrative pay-outs followed by new contracts of employment are not uncommon in the public sector. However at a time when essential savings must be found, it is even more important that the so-called public sector merry-go-round grinds to a halt.

Only last week we exposed the record number of council employees receiving pay and perks packages worth more than £100,000. Staffordshire county council had 25 people receiving over £100,000 and of these at least 8 received loss of office payments. In order to find savings of £120 million over the next four years redundancies will be inevitable, on top of the £3.1 million in redundancy payments already paid out over the last three years.

This would have been a step forward if it was a one-off payment toward a better, leaner and more efficient county council. But it seems that this is not the case. In the past 3 years 171 council employees received redundancy payments, which included one employee receiving over £73,544 and 14 more than £50,000. However the council then reemployed 44 of these in 2009-10 and 2010-11 and this increased to almost double in 2011-12. Unfortunately, this is not a one-off. Stoke-on-Trent City Council shelled out more than £330,000 in redundancy payments to 25 employees only to re-employ them, one of them reappearing on the councils payroll just 27 days later.

The leader of the Liberal Democrats on the council has reacted with similar dismay:
"It's an extraordinary state of affairs. It looks like a very serious oversight. I can't see why they would have done this intentionally because it does not make any logical sense. This is a very significant amount of money and it highlights the need for a policy to change it. It isn't fair that some people are taking redundancy pay and then being redeployed while others are simply being redeployed or made redundant."

There seems to be more of an expensive reshuffling at taxpayers’ expense going on rather than true change for the better. Councils across the UK need to start making permanent and lasting savings, now.

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