“That does not seem to me to be any way to treat people”
I’ve got to admit that I was nonplussed by Francis Maude’s comments yesterday about civil servants who are “too expensive” to sack, and are left “in limbo”. The Cabinet Office minister made his comments to the Public Affairs committee yesterday, defending the Coalition’s attempt to re-write the civil service redundancy deal.
His performance struck me as exemplifying the caring cutting that we are going to see more and more frequently. I can understand why a government that isn’t particularly sympathetic to its staff wants to cut the amount it spends on them, but the difficulty for Ministers is that it isn’t acceptable to say this in Mr. Cameron’s Conservative Party.
Instead, we got the ridiculous coda to Mr. Maude’s comments: “that does not seem to me to be any way to treat people” because it leaves them “in limbo.”
Mr. Maude isn’t trying to renege on the redundancy deal to save money. Oh no, he’s doing it because it isn’t a way to treat people. The way people should be treated, it seems, is to make them redundant and pay them a lot less money.
I think we’re going to see a lot more of this concern for our welfare before we’re done.