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FDA warns of damage to civil service's long-term capability

The Chancellor's announcement that further savings will be identified in 2009 to be achieved in the next Comprehensive Spending Review period heralds an era of widespread cuts to services and potential damage to the capability of the public services if critical posts are lost, the FDA warned today. The FDA is the union for senior managers and professionals in the civil service.

FDA General Secretary Jonathan Baume said: "The Chancellor has today painted a bleak picture of the economy and public finances, with negative growth forecast for 2009 and public sector borrowing predicted to increase significantly over the short term. His predictions of recovery in 2010 may also prove to be overly optimistic.

"We welcome Alistair Darling's commitment to 'continue to support and improve key public services'. Savings identified by the work of the Operational Efficiency Programme - for example through collaborative procurement - are clearly a sensible way forward. However, the announcement of a further £5 billion – on top of the £30 billion already announced - of efficiency savings in the period until 2010-11, and more beyond, suggests that Britain’s public services face substantial cuts after the next general election. It will be essential that the government protects critical posts if long-term damage to the capability of the public services is to be avoided."

Notes for Editors

1. The FDA is the trade union and professional body representing 18,000 of the UK’s senior civil and public servants. Our members include policy advisors, senior managers, tax inspectors, economists, statisticians, accountants, special advisers, government lawyers, diplomats, crown prosecutors and NHS managers.

2. Members in HMRC are represented by the Association of Revenue and Customs (ARC), a section of the FDA.

3. The FDA (formerly the First Division Association) should be referred to simply as "The FDA" and can be described as "the senior public servants’ union".

4. For further information contact:
• Jonathan Baume, General Secretary, tel: 020 7401 5555 or 07976 951191.
• Oliver Rowe, Communications Officer, tel: 020 7401 5588 or 07751 366680.

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