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Smoke and mirrors in the public services sector

Those who have studied the public services sector over the last few years will no doubt have seen the headlines of substantial job cuts and cost savings. However, many will be unaware that a significant number of these "job cuts" have seen individuals moved to different parts of the public services sector or even re-employed in their old positions at a later date. Using a system of smoke and mirrors the UK government has in many ways given the appearance of significant job cuts when in reality this is not always the case.

There is no doubt that the spending budget for public services will be something of a political hot potato as we approach the next general election. The Labour party, despite promising an ongoing increase in public services funding, has already announced £15 billion of savings which is a reduction in funding in all but name. The Conservative party on the other hand has suggested it will review current public services budget plans if they regain office in 2010.

None of the major parties is willing to announce significant funding cuts for the public services sector because it employs so many people in the UK and the unions could cause significant problems. It will be interesting to see, no matter which government gains power next year, how those in control will attempt to reduce the budget while keeping everybody "on-side".

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