There have been no “savage cuts”, only cuts in the rate of spending increase.
The number of civil servants, NHS managers, local authority employees, constabularies, fire commands, quangos, people who work in quangos, interims employed via the revolving door have all increased.
As the Tri-Forces has seen soldiers sacked, the number of people in the MOD has increased, and even as police numbers have been cut many police functions have been privatized and people re-employed by G4S, Serco and Amey.
If one looks at the increased use of Big 4 management consultants, Bain and McKinsey consultants to shape policy and the use of outsourcing, it is questionable whether overall civil service headcount is reducing at all.
Indeed, if one looks at the amount of off balance sheet finance and the nature of PPP/PFI deals and the use of SPVs by organisations like HMRC, it is also questionable as to whether there has been any effective reduction in public spending at all.
Overall, the so called “savage cuts” still see the UK costs of delivering public services at 3 times the Singaporean costs, leaving the UK 17th in the world in terms of value per taxpayer pound. Much of this is down to inefficiency and waste, some is down to duplication but a look at our infrastructure versus what has been and is being collected in taxes shows that much more malign forces are at work .
The benefits system is being plundered by Nigerian and Eastern European gangs and by people using bogus documentation to create false identities from the records of dead people and live ones. People come into the country at the rate of 500,000 per year with illegal immigrants making up half that figure. We know this from figures on food sold, versus the official population and from the number of notes and coins in circulation. The Home Office has lost control of immigration and our borders, yet these people are consuming services and money because they have to be working unofficially and not paying taxes,at least for a time.
These processes started under Tony Blair and Blunkett and continue, so the question for all UK political parties is ‘why?’