Caroline Flint

Standing up for Don Valley.

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MP questions Government spending on temporary staff

Don Valley MP Caroline Flint has raised concerns about the over-use of consultants and temporary staff across Whitehall departments.

The Public Accounts Committee, of which Ms Flint is a member, published a report today criticising the Cabinet Office, who are responsible for reducing such spending. Government departments are spending up to 90% more on temporary staff than they were in 2011-12.  

Said Caroline: “Consultants and specialist temporary staff often cost double that of a permanent employee so where they are used they need to be justified.  

“When civil service jobs, like the BIS offices in Sheffield, are being sacrificed on cost grounds, for Government spending on temporary staff to almost double is shocking. This is a bad use of resources and a waste of taxpayer’s money, especially at a time when budgets are being cut."  

The main 17 government departments and their agencies paid permanent staff salaries totalling £17 billion in 2014-15.Departments also spent between £1 billion and £1.3 billion on consultants and temporary staff, who are paid as independent suppliers rather than as employees.  

In its report the Committee states that it is “not convinced” the Cabinet Office has an effective strategy for workforce planning. The report concludes “We expect to see much better planning of skills across government and a clearer view from the Cabinet Office of the place of temporary resources in the overall workforce.”

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