Public sector employment in Scotland [March 2013]

Lockyer, Cliff (2013) Public sector employment in Scotland [March 2013]. Fraser of Allander Economic Commentary, 36 (3). pp. 46-50. ISSN 2046-5378

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Inevitably interest focusses on the recent trends in public sector employment; however, the themes of cuts, capacity and targets are indicative of more significant current and medium term issues affecting the public sector. Cuts in staffing and capacity (a 30% reduction in staff and loss of experienced managers) were seen as a contributory reason for the failures by the Department of Transport‟s West Coast rail franchise, as contributing to the failure to pick up the recent food contamination (Local Authorities in England collected some 21% fewer samples in 2011 – 2012 compared to earlier years), and underpinning concerns as to the reduced levels of fire service cover in London. The impact of cuts, capacity and targets on standards of care were highlighted in the publication the Francis Report (The final report of the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry) and we return to this later.