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PCS: Public sector job cuts estimate raises questions about OBR

The latest estimate of public sector job cuts confirms the Public and Commercial Services union's view that they are damaging our economy and raises serious questions about the independence of the Office for Budget Responsibility.

Figures published today by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development show 610,000 jobs are likely to go over the next four years - the same figure given in a leaked document from the OBR in June 2010.

Later that year, however, the OBR revised down its published estimates to 490,000 then 330,000.

The union says this calls into question the OBR's independence and suggests political pressure has been brought to bear to deflect criticism of the government's spending cuts.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "This report shows that the initial analysis by the OBR, which is supposed to be independent of ministers, was spot on.

"It is now seems its figures have been massaged to show an unrealistic picture of the grave problems facing our economy because of government policy, as part of a worrying pattern of ministers obscuring the facts behind rhetoric and half-truth.

"Instead of ploughing on regardless and cutting hundreds of thousands of jobs, the government should invest to help our economy to grow by putting people into work and putting money in their pockets."

ENDS

Notes

- For information and interview requests contact PCS national press officer Richard Simcox on 020 7801 2747 or 07833 978216

- The Public and Commercial Services union represents civil and public servants in central government. It has around 300,000 members in over 200 departments and agencies, and in parts of government transferred to the private sector. PCS is the UK's sixth largest union and is affiliated to the TUC. The general secretary is Mark Serwotka and the president is Janice Godrich - on Twitter @janicegodrich

- Follow PCS on Twitter @pcs_union

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