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Wednesday 1st August 2012 | 10:10
Taxpayers' Alliance press release
Today the TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) announces July’s recipients of its monthly awards to celebrate those politicians who have done the right – and wrong – thing by the taxpayer. This month's winners have emerged after the publication of new TPA research analysing increases and decreases in staffing in government departments.
The man, woman or organisation to be congratulated for saving public money or acting in the interests of the hard-pressed taxpayer is named the TPA’s “Pin-Up of the Month”, whilst whoever is found to have shown the greatest disregard for taxpayers’ cash or their interests is shamed as the TPA’s "Pinhead of the Month”.
July 2012’s Pin-Up of the Month is Philip Hammond MP, the Secretary of State for Defence.
The latest data shows that of all the government departments, the MoD shed proportionately more backroom bureaucrats than any other on Whitehall in the latest quarter.
Between the end of December 2011 and the end of March 2012, the total number of staff employed in the Department and associated quangos (but not including military personnel) went from 57,210 to 54,250, equal to a reduction of more than 5 per cent in three months. There has been a reduction in this figure every quarter for the last year.
Conversely, the TPA’s Pinhead of the Month for July is Ed Davey MP, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, whose department has been growing in size.
In the same quarter that the MoD shed 5 per cent of its staff, the headcount at the Department for Energy and Climate Change and associated quangos increased by more than 4 per cent, going from 2,816 at the end of December 2011 to 2,929 at the end of March 2012.
This is not a blip. In fact, the number of people working at DECC has risen every quarter during the last year, so Ed Davey's predecessor as Secretary of State, Chris Huhne MP, has to share some of the blame for the numbers.
Click here to see the figures for each government department
Jonathan Isaby, Political Director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, commented:
“The TaxPayers’ Alliance has always believed that as well as making examples of those who have shown a disregard for public money, it is important to recognise those who are seeking to do the right thing by taxpayers.
"The now regular publication by government departments of data about spending and staffing is an important demonstration of how transparency and openess makes it easier for taxpayers to hold politicians to account.
"What these latest statistics show about the Department of Energy and Climate Change is that whilst the Prime Minister and Chancellor have emphasised the need for a reduction in the bloated public sector, this one department has monumentally failed to follow suit and make those necessary cutbacks. Instead, under the stewardship of Chris Huhne and Ed Davey over the last year, the number of DECC bureaucrats has been consistently rising.
"By expanding his empire yet further, not only is Ed Davey letting down more responsible Cabinet colleagues who are making the vital reductions to the size of the public sector, but also taxpayers, who will be stupefied at the ever-growing wage bill for bureaucrats in a department whose policies are already costing them dear.
"Philip Hammond, on the other hand, makes a worthy Pin-Up of the Month. He has demonstrated how it is possible to cut the size of the civil service and therefore help ease the pressure on taxpayers. These cuts at the department will ease the real pressure on the military. Mr Hammond's colleagues ought to be looking to him for inspiration as they seek to reduce the administration bill in their own departments."