Plaid warns UK government over Welsh impact of civil service jobs plan

Plaid Cymru’s economic spokesperson, Jonathan Edwards MP, has expressed grave concern at the UK Government’s plans which will make it easier to make public sector workers redundant.

The plans will be discussed in the House of Commons today (Tuesday) as part of the Superannuation Bill, and will reduce redundancy payments for civil servants.

Plans were originally laid for the scheme by the previous Labour government but were quashed by the High Court.

Plaid Cymru MPs Jonathan Edwards and Hywel Williams today joined civil servants at a PCS Union protest over the plans outside the Houses of Parliament.

Mr Edwards said:

“The terms and conditions set out by the ConDem government are written so as to make it easier for central government to sack hard-working and often poorly paid civil servants.

“In reducing the rights which workers have earned and refusing to fully negotiate with trade unions, such as the independent Public and Commercial Services union, the ConDems are treating our public sector with disdain.

“Figures released this week by the Office for National Statistics show that more than 300,000 staff in Wales are employed in the public sector, making up 27% of all jobs. This means that large-scale redundancies would impact heavily on all of the country, not just in terms of work but in the quality of service that people receive.

“Wales does need to re-orientate itself to become a better location for the private sector to do business, for example through the introduction of regional corporation tax and implementing Plaid’s progressive economic policies – but we cannot allow our important public sector to become a scapegoat for the failings of the financial sector and Labour’s flawed spending plans.

“Economic projections indicate that private sector job growth will be stagnant over the medium term, and in reality what the UK Government will be doing is sacking public sector workers without hope of any alternative employment. In terms of the health of the economy as a whole this is a very worrying situation.

“I am glad that the Labour Party has now come onside in this argument against massive cuts to the public sector, but workers will not quickly forget that they had to go on strike in March this year to protect their jobs from a Labour government following the same goals.”

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