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'Five more years of cuts' warns outgoing civil service head

The UK could face five more years of spending cuts and austerity, regardless of which political party is in power, the outgoing head of the the civil service has said.

Sir Bob Kerslake, who stepped down as head of the home civil service as part of a Whitehall shake-up ordered by David Cameron in July, made the comments in a speech to the Institute for Government think-tank in which he reiterated the need for reform.

Suffice it to say that under any government, we face up to a further five years of austerity in public sector spending.

The first five years have been challenging but the second five years are likely to prove even harder for three reasons.

Firstly, the easier savings have already been made. Secondly, we are likely to be doing it against a background of a growing economy and greater competition for good staff.

Thirdly, the sense of urgency that underpinned the first savings programme will be reduced.

– Sir Bob Kerslake