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Speaking on BBC Radio Four's Today programme this morning, Ruth Kelly, ...
Speaking on BBC Radio Four's Today programme this morning, Ruth Kelly,

financial secretary to the Treasury countered the Conservatives' claims that

new public sector jobs created would be bureaucratic posts.

'You're calling them bureaucrats, I think these are vital frontline workers.

You're calling police, community support officers, classroom assistants,

bureaucrats. These are people that will deliver better frontline services,'

she told Today.


Voters have been 'hoodwinked' by Gordon Brown and his plans to slash thousands of civil service jobs, Oliver Letwin has warned.

Questioning the credibility of the government's commitment to reduce the size of the Whitehall bureaucracy, the shadow chancellor claimed that of the 84,000 jobs Mr Brown says will disappear, at least 13,000 involve reallocations of posts, like personal assistants in job centres.

And the Conservative shadow chancellor also insisted that far from reducing civil service jobs, the Labour administration will go on hiring more staff to fill new and existing public sector posts.

Emphasising that more than half of the 460,000 new public sector jobs created under Labour since 1997 have gone to bureaucrats, Mr Letwin said he approved of the Government's aim of cutting back, but predicted instead a 'huge increase in bureaucracy'.

Arguing that at the same time as he was claiming he would cut 84,000 civil service jobs, Mr Brown was planning to recruit 360,000 new public service workers, Mr Letwin said: 'This government should not be able to hoodwink the British public into believing that it is thinning down government when it is not. What is going on is not subtracting but adding bureaucrats. I am not talking about front line workers.'

He added: 'The evidence of the past seven years is that, of the 496,000 extra public sector workers the chancellor has brought in, over half have been jobs in bureaucracy. He is now planning another 360,000, according to his own documents. If over half of those are in bureaucracy, then he will be adding many more bureaucratic jobs than he is getting rid of. In the last recorded year, the government's own figures show that of 88,000 extra people added in education, only 14,000 were teachers or teaching assistants. That's a pretty remarkable record.

'We have a fat government and it needs to be thinned down. The chancellor is pretending to thin it down. We agree with the aim, but we are actually going to do it by removing numbers of bureaucratic jobs.'

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