Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude has been forced to defend levels of morale in the civil service.
Speaking to the House of Commons during Cabinet Office Questions, Maude told MPs that civil service morale has not significantly fallen over the last year, despite a reduction in the size of the civil service “like for like by 21%”.
Maude was responding to a statement put forward by Labour MP Barry Sheerman, who suggested there is “a great deal of disillusionment in the civil service.”
“Isn’t it our job in this House to support really good people coming into the civil service with the highest level of skills to be happy and motivated in their job?” Sheerman asked, before demanding what Maude was going to do about morale in Whitehall.
Maude responded: “I agree with what the Rt Hon gentleman says about the need to support civil servants and support their development and their skills and provide them with rewarding jobs.
“Obviously the purpose of the civil service is not to provide jobs – it is to serve the public. But I’m happy to be able to tell him morale in the civil service, as measured in the annual people survey, has held up very well actually.
“It has certainly not fallen since the last year this government was in office, despite the very considerable demands made and the downsizing to which I have referred.”