‘From my experience of working in and with the Ministry of Defence over the past decade I know how strong such vested interests are and how much commitment is required to overcome resistance to change. It will take acts of extraordinary political will to take on these entrenched interests.
The Shadow Treasury team, George Osborne and Philip Hammond, have persuaded me that they are have the determination, drive and belief in change to tackle this issue at this critical time. That’s why I’ve been persuaded to help them.’
The Civil Service concur with Gray: Osborne and Hammond are serious. Government policy created a cumbersome and unsustainable state; cuts are inevitable. Whilst efficiencies can be made and will contribute significant savings, the bulk of spending cuts will come in the form of salary depreciation and job losses. In anticipation of a Tory government, Whitehall department heads and line managers are asking senior public servants to take early retirement, in an effort to make immediate savings.