UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has shelved a plan of axing 91,000 civil service jobs. 

These “top-down targets”, which Sunak criticises, were implemented by Boris Johnson.

The policy shift comes as Mr. Sunak strives to beef up the UK’s finances in order to address a £50 billion shortfall.

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Jacob Rees-Mogg worked on the aim of downsizing the Civil Service by nearly a fifth earlier this year while he was a Cabinet Office minister under Mr. Johnson

In a statement to civil servants, the Prime Minister stated he and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt will push individual departments to “maximise efficiency within budgets.”

Mr. Sunak said to civil servants: “Together, we must make sure every taxpayer pound goes as far as it possibly can. 

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“I do not believe that top-down targets for Civil Service headcount reductions are the right way to do that.

“Instead, the Chancellor and I will be asking every Government department to look for the most effective ways to secure value and maximise efficiency within budgets so that we can use taxpayers’ money sustainably in the long term.”

Former Prime Minister Liz Truss is said to have already toned down the proposals by postponing the schedule for reducing the Civil Service back to pre-Brexit levels in 2016.

Whitehall grew in size as more employees were recruited to deal with the issues of leaving the European Union and combating the coronavirus outbreak.

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There were fears that job losses might cost billions of pounds.

A Government representative said: “It is the role of a responsible Government to identify how to deliver the best outcomes for the public as efficiently as possible.

“That’s why departments have been asked to look for the most effective ways to maximise efficiency within their budgets, to ensure the best value for taxpayers both now and in the long term.”

Source: Bloomberg

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