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Government claim cuts are impossible

The Government says that the Troika’s insistence that 14,000 public servants be dismissed by the end of the year is “impossible”.

The reduction in the number of public sector workers slowed significantly in the first half of 2011 compared with the second half of 2010, which has caused the Government to abandon its goals to reduce State employee numbers, as promised to the ‘Troika’.

According to a report published on Monday, the bureaucracy’s Central Administration shed nearly 5,000 workers between the start of the year and June – in other words 0.9% less out of a total of 507,930 state-employed staff.

But in the second half of 2010 the reduction had been sharper with 11,560 staff let go.    

Under the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Government and the ‘Troika’, the Portuguese government has signed up to shedding 3.6% of its state-employed workforce.

In order to achieve that objective, the Government would, in the second half of this year, axe around 14,000 jobs.

The Government has blamed the last PS government by saying it had “allowed in too many new staff members, despite having promised to freeze the number of new admissions to the public service.”

In order to compensate not meeting this year’s objectives, the Government has already proposed to increase the reduction in the number of public sector workers from one per cent to two per cent over the next two years.

The Ministry of Education represents almost a half of all public sector workers employed in Portugal.