Times Letters: Share private pain

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altGovernment's belt needs to tighten a bit more before it will feel the pain of the private sector

Sir, So local councils are suffering job cuts, too (“Town halls cut jobs as local government loses £2.5 billion of income",May 11. The fact remains that it is the private sector that is taking the full brunt of this financial storm.

In the last quarter of 2008 local government staff levels indeed fell by 6,000. But Gordon Brown simultaneously presided over a 19,000 increase in central government numbers and a 2,000 increase in public corporations. Overall, the seasonally adjusted number of public employees rose by 15,000 just when the rest of us were wondering whether not only our jobs but also our employers would survive.

Looking at last year as a whole, the private sector lost 105,000 jobs while the public sector actually gained 30,000. I am afraid that the Government has a bit of belt-tightening to do yet before it can be claiming to “share our pain".

Dr Eamonn Butler

Director, Adam Smith Institute

Author, The Rotten State of Britai

Published in The Times here