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Monday, April 19, 2010

The real issue of this election

With all attention focussed on the polls and of course, on the volcano ash, today's Independent highlights what is really at stake in this election.

They report on claims by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, who suggest that more than 500,000 public-sector jobs could be axed in the next five years under a post-election squeeze on spending, which will be far greater than any of the main political parties are admitting.

The organisation's chief economic adviser, Dr John Philpott claims that the jobs cull could lead to a 10 per cent reduction in the 5.8 million public-sector workforce that would "dwarf" anything in the party election manifestos.

He suggests that this is long-term structural change but argues that it does not need to be as painful as it sounds:

"An economy with almost 30 million people in work and in which tens of thousands of jobs are lost and created every year should be able to cope with a period of large-scale public-sector downsizing without this resulting in higher unemployment."

Of course given the size of the public sector in Wales I would suggest that job losses on such a scale would be particularly difficult. That is assuming that Dr. Philpott is correct and that the rate of change is as great as he suggests. The outcome of the election will be crucial in determining how the government responds to this agenda.
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