Civil servants across Wales and their union PCS, are demanding that David Cameron and Nick Clegg halt the latest in a series of civil service privatisations that will see 800 jobs in Wales axed and based abroad instead.

The UK Government’s programme of privatisation of civil service HR, payroll, procurement and finance functions, outsourcing thousands of jobs to private bidders in so called “shared services centres” allows private firms to handle sensitive personal data for hundreds of thousands of civil servants. The latest privatisation is due to begin on 1st November.

Jo Stevens, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Cardiff Central said:

“Since 2010, the UK government have axed hundreds of thousands of public sector jobs justifying their actions on the basis the private sector will create new jobs and get us out of the current cost of living crisis.

We now have a situation where the Tory and Lib Dem coalition plan to take 800 jobs from Cardiff, give them to a private company, all the time knowing those jobs will be axed and moved overseas. Lib Dem MP Jenny Willott and Tory Jonathan Evans MP are just standing by letting it happen.

This is being forced through at breakneck speed, despite three critical reports from the Public Accounts Committee detailing significant flaws in the plans, opposition from civil servants and their union, PCS.

Why the rush? The coalition’s preferred bidder, Steria UK, a French multinational, hasn’t got security accreditation it needs to handle the personal data of civil servants under the contract and won’t have it by 1st November.

If it’s refused accreditation, the contract will be void wasting vast amounts of public money. This is a bad decision and the coalition should stop and rethink.”

Chris Baugh, PCS assistant general secretary who will address a lobby of Nick Clegg’s constituency office today said:

“The government has no justifiable case to transfer these jobs out of the civil service to a private sector provider such as Steria, who in turn will off-shore them out of the country – all under the imposition of a ridiculous timetable. Our members are angry at the threat of losing their jobs and the services they provide and will take all action necessary, including strike action, to fight these proposals.”

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