POA Circulars

139 | 21.10.2010

Comprehensive Spending Review

Many of you will now have seen the headline figures announced in the Comprehensive Spending Review, in relation to the Ministry of Justice.

Under the plans announced in Parliament, the MoJ spending will be cut from £8.3 billion in 2010 to £7 billion by 2014.  That is a cut of approximately 24% over the next 4 years, but some areas will suffer higher cuts.

There has been much speculation and leaks regarding where the axe may fall over the last few months with claims and counter claims.

The POA National Executive Committee meet on Tuesday 26th October 2010, to discuss emerging themes and our response to these draconian cuts.

Part of these cuts are based on a gamble of reducing the prison population by some 3,000 prisoners.

The Ministry of Justice budget cut cannot be taken in isolation of other departments such as the Home Office, which is responsible for policing.  With fewer Police being available courts closing, less frontline staff in Prisons and Probation the Criminal Justice System could free fall into meltdown with crime exploding in our communities, thus more people being sent to prison.

The National Executive Committee are working along with the TUC and the Trade Union Co-Ordinating Group in co-ordinating strategies to resist these cuts and now the headline figures have been released, we need to analyse in detail what it actually means for our members not just in relation to NOMS, but our members in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Special Hospitals, in order that everyone can be protected.

Briefings by Michael Spurr have been attended by members of the Executive at Clive House.  We are aware of the notices that have been circulated by Ken Clarke Justice Secretary and Suma Chakrabarti.

The Executive will respond accordingly in due course.  There is clearly a lot to consider, but one fact remains public sector workers did not cause the recession and should not have to pay for the fiscal deficit by losing their jobs, cuts to their compensation, pay freezes, working longer before retirement and with worse pensions.  The banks and speculators caused the problem, yet they are still receiving obscene bonuses as if nothing happened.  In addition, there is some £30 billion a year in tax avoidance and in tax havens for business and the super rich.

In the coming weeks and months as events unfold through joint campaigns and strategies with other trades unions, the POA membership will need to stand tall and united to protect each other and the Executive will lead you through some of the most difficult times in this Unions history.

Yours sincerely



National Chairman


Yours sincerely


General Secretary