Wednesday, February 5, 2014

1,000 Pilgrims Culled

The early stats on Frankie Maude’s reforms of trade union facility time don’t make great reading, but Guido is pleased to report the Cabinet Office is getting its act together. New figures for the third quarter of 2013 reveal the total number of Pilgrims has dropped by 1,000, saving £17 million last year. Cash wasted on Pilgrims as a proportion of the whole paybill is less than a third of what it was in 2011, with another £21 million worth set to be cut next year. Viva la revolucion…

UPDATE: Maude is kicking back on the earlier figures:

“In December, it was reported that costs of trade union representation in the Civil Service had risen under this Government. That is entirely untrue and the figures were flawed. The report was based on claimed costs for 2010-2011 of half what our rigorous mapping exercise found. The report’s 2010-2011 figures entirely excluded costs from HM Revenue & Customs, one of the biggest departments; underreported Ministry of Justice costs significantly; and assumed that the cost of full-time representatives for the Department for Work & Pensions accounted for all the costs (i.e. not counting the cost of over 1,300 part-time representatives). The 2010-2011 data was compiled from Parliamentary Questions and FOI requests, based on different methodologies. In addition some departments gave their figures from before proper monitoring was introduced, thus underreporting their actual numbers. The same report used data less up-to-date than the numbers which will be published tomorrow, thus over-reporting the ‘current’ costs.”

Well Guido is sure that has made everything clearer.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Civil Service Turkeys Say No to Christmas

Civil Service World is reporting that Sir Bob Kerslake, head of the Civil Service, has blocked attempts by Francis Maude to allow Secretaries of State to have a greater say in hiring and firing Permanent Secretaries:

“There’s a shared view about the importance of civil service values, the value of an impartial civil service, and I don’t believe there’s any intention to move towards legislation this time.”

A shared view of self-protection…

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Frankie Slashes Civil Service Pay

IPPR have been given a taster of what Francis Maude will be expecting of them this morning. New figures show that the number of civil servants earning over £150,000 has fallen dramatically in the last twelve months. The salary bill for senior government officials has been slashed by 18%, saving some £9 million. The civil servant who raked in the most cash was Olympics boss Dennis Hone, who pocketed £315,000 for his troubles. The 234 still share almost £50 million between them…

Stats via @ChrisMasonBBC

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

FRANKIE SAYS SACKED
Civil Service Reforms Could See Sir Humphrey Sacked for Failing

Francis Maude was much maligned by right-wing Tories during the opposition years as a wet moderniser, suspiciously tie-less and the éminence grise behind the Cameroon Policy Exchange think-tank.

In office he now wears a tie and has moved from policy wonkery to policy execution; bearing down on spending, battling the civil service bureaucracy, shining sunlight on government data to drive the transparency agenda. Maude is playing  hardball with the unions on unaffordable public sector pensions and full-time taxpayer-funded pilgrims. It is enough to gladden the heart of Margaret Thatcher herself – whom he once served as a Minister – it has also led to a grudging re-evaluation of him by many on the Conservative Party’s right-wing.

Now he is taking on the enemy within, the Civil Service permanent government, or in the case of Michael Gove’s Department for Education, the permanent opposition. The ability of the mandarinate to frustrate radical policies is legendary and their talent for generating inertia defies the laws of physics. In the ideological heart of many Thatcherites and Orange Bookers is a belief that the bureaucracy could be reduced, the government re-engineered and  improved. Quietly the Coalition will by 2015 have reduced the size of the Civil Service by 23% from the bloated days of Gordon Brown. The first step on the path to a post-bureaucratic government is making bureaucrats accountable and sackable when they fail to deliver.

Big Business has used the internet to strip out costs and whole layers of management, Big Government has barely started to do the same. Sir Humphrey and the rest of the mandarins have decades of experience in fighting Civil Service reform, they will fight these reforms every step of the way with cunning and subtlety rather than head on. They even have their own privately funded think-tank, the Institute for Government, possibly the most dangerous political force in Britain since the heyday of the Communist Party of Great Britain. The long-term gain from reforming and shrinking the Civil Service is immense, it was the area where the Blairite’s self-acknowledged failure was total. The prize is worth having at any cost.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Light Whipping in Osborne’s Office

As the 10pm vote deadline approached last night, Francis Maude was celebrating his birthday with a soirée in George Osborne’s offices in Parliament. Guido understands that Mad Frankie was slightly upstaged by his then PPS Angie “they’ll have to sack me” Bray. Sources in the room whisper to Guido that Whip Mark Francois made no efforts to cajole Bray at the party despite being there and chatting to her for some time. So much for that aggressive whipping…

Apparently Maude was angry though, not at the fact his PPS was rebelling, but concerned about finding a decent replacement for Bray given that almost all of the potential talent pool had rebelled.

At least any replacement will be über-loyal.

If they voted with the government last night, they’ll vote on anything…

Monday, April 2, 2012

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

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Seen Elsewhere

Gove Loses WWI Battle | Conservative Woman
5 Reasons Labour Likely to Win General Election | Sunny Hundal
Dave Surrounded By Topless Women | Sun
UN Loony says Britain Most Sexist Country | Sun
Farage is a Good Reason to Leave the EU | Dan Hannan
UKIP Blocked Expenses Questions | Times
NHS Showdown Coming | Paul Goodman
Sons of Brown | Telegraph
All Three Parties Mulling Leadership | Staggers
Isn’t George Great | Simon Jenkins
Establishment Times Chums Appeasing Tory Europhiles | UKIP


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Cathy Jamieson MP, Labour’s Shadow Treasury minister, commenting on Treasury analysis of the economic impact of tax changes…

“If the Treasury is looking at the economic impact of tax changes, then surely it should examine the impact of the rise in VAT and cuts to tax credits? George Osborne’s £12 billion VAT rise knocked confidence, helped to choke off the recovery and has cost families £1,350 over the last three years.”



orkneylad says:

What’s he been doing FFS, mining bitcoins?


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