Number of Civil Servants Grows Despite Government Vow to Cut Headcount mdi-fullscreen

The number of Civil Servants has risen from 510,080 to 519,780 in the year ending to March, despite government plans to reduce Whitehall headcounts “to secure value and maximise efficiency” earlier this year. The Ministry of Justice is now the largest Department in Whitehall, with an increase of around 5,000 staff since 2022 to a total of 91,875. A reminder that around 40% of Whitehall still works from home…

While Rishi junked Boris’s plan to reduce the size of Whitehall by around 90,000 staff – equivalent to a whole Department – the Cabinet Office did at least vow in January to make “considerable efficiency savings” across the Civil Service. Oliver Dowden, now Deputy Prime Minister, said:

“If you look at the spending review settlements over the coming years, those are tight spending review settlements, which for most departments outside a small number of protected departments will see quite substantial reductions in their budgets […] That will necessarily drive considerable efficiency savings, and I would expect to drive headcount savings as well.”

The Civil Servant headcount has gone up since then, not down. They have also had a 5.5% pay rise after striking-from-home this summer. How are those efficiency savings working out?

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