George Osborne is out to set an example of how to save money – cut jobs. He trimmed the Treasury staff down by a quarter as the star chamber reconvenes this week. The star chamber is a group of ministers from different government departments with the responsibility of saving money anywhere possible. One of the goals of the government, at this point, is to settle budgets in a number of departments.
Osborne has a plan to cut his own department within the next four years by 1000 through natural attrition. The Treasury Department is going to lessen its financial services offerings, as Osborne believes the crisis management phase of the crisis is over. History confirms that after a recession, a period exists which a government can expect to not experience as many emergencies – this is the period which allows the government to think the economy is in the beginning of the next phase, recovery.
Cuts to the department are even going to include stretching the furniture and the space between chairs. Civil servants will be asked to sit closer together at smaller desks, so other employees working in Whitehall can function within the building.
A peer to Osborne commented on the current situation saying: “We are going to focus on our core responsibilities as an economics and finance ministry.
That means a focus on spending control and macro analysis. We will not always be trying to second-guess what other departments do.”
To think Osborne wants to get started on some of the other departments is an understatement. Actually, he would like to settle some ministers within a couple weeks.
The consensus is that Osborne will move swiftly through the smaller departments and then ultimately tackle the biggest of problems, the defence and welfare departments.