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Patricia Gibson MP has expressed her astonishment at Tory plans to cut 91,000 civil servants at a time when there are huge backlogs at the Passport Office, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

Civil servants deliver a huge range of services, from paying benefits and pensions, to guarding our borders, the prison service and assisting parliamentarians.

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has seen UK staff numbers cut by 23.7% over the last decade, while HMRC has lost 14.3%. However, the cuts in Scotland have been much more severe. The DWP has lost 30% of its staff here, with numbers falling from 12,910 to 9,040, while at HMRC numbers have declined by 21.7% from 9,920 to 7,770.

Patricia said:

"These staggering plans from the UK Government are completely detached from reality.

“My office has been swamped by constituents who cannot obtain a passport to go on holiday or travel to meet family or work overseas due to a huge backlog at the UK Passport Office. The Centre for Economics and Business Research has said that this will cost households £1.1 billion this summer, not to mention much upset and anguish. Meanwhile folk contacting the DVLA can wait up to six months for a driving licence and HMRC is struggling to process tax returns and refunds. The Ukrainian Visa scheme is also struggling.

“In Scotland the percentage of job cuts in UK departments has been much higher than in the rest of the UK. The DWP, HMRC and Ministry of Defence have all shown far greater falls in job numbers over the past decade.

“Scotland has already paid the price of UK Government job cuts.

“At a time when the cost of living is soaring as a result of failed Tory policies from Brexit to energy supply, sacking civil servants and creating further service backlogs is not the way forward.

“There is one exception to all this. The Cabinet Office and agencies directly responsible for supporting the Prime Minister have seen staff numbers rocket by 298% since 2011 from 2,630 to 10,460 as Boris Johnson seeks to assert his own influence even more.”



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