Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is facing a furious backlansh after a new report revealed that £12 million is being spent each year on diversity and inclusion officer in Whitehall and associated agencies at a time when the economic crisis has forced tax rises and spending cuts. The figures in the Conservative Way Forward (CWF) report only include Whitehall departments in Westminster but not the public sector as a whole.
Dudley North MP Mrco Longhi, one of the MPs to help sweep Labour’s Red Wall in 2019, said: “The scary thing about this report is that this £12m is what is spent on Civil Service only woke jobs.
“What about all the NHS diversity jobs at £80k a year when we don’t spend training and recruiting our own doctors and nurses, but import them instead?
“What about our Police forces employing officers to monitor social media so they can pursue people offending other’s feelings, when they won’t attend armed robberies?
“All these public services now want to go on strike but when money is given to them they spend it on woke agendas rather than delivering on the front line.
“Taxpayers are being penalised at the highest levels in several generations while watching the woke mobs across all areas of national and local government being given what they want. It couldn’t be more wrong.”
South Dorset MP Richard Drax added: “When the country’s going through a cost of living crisis, people need to see every penny they hand over to the government in taxes spent wisely. The state has got to live within its means and stop squandering our money on divisive and pointless roles like these.”
According to the CWF report ministerial and non-ministerial departments accountable to Parliament, and public sector agencies, are spending at least £12 million a year on 300 civil service roles that are “exclusively focused on issues of equality, diversity or inclusivity (EDI)”.
The 60 organisations questioned have 286 EDI roles between them, an average of four EDI officers per role. These come a combined annual cost to the taxpayer of £12.1million, and the average salary of each role is £42,300.
Example role titles include: “Director of Diversity”, “Diversity Officer”, a Senior Manager of “Policy and Research (Diversity), and a “Relationship Manager (Diversity)”.
This comes as the nation prepares for a series of strikes by members of the Public and Commercial Services Union over unmet demands for a 10 percent pay increase and after Mr Hunt used his Autumn statement last month to increase income tax and a range of other taxes and duties to fill the spending black hole.
He also announced a series of spending cuts by 2028 including to defence.
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According to the report Arts Council England as 9.9 EDI roles at a cost of £352,000 to the taxpayer while UK Research and Innovation has 22 roles at £1,047,000.
The Crown Prosecution Service has 21 roles costing the taxpayer £945,000 and Sport England has seven at an annual bill to the taxpayer of £280,000.
Meanwhile, Valuation Office Agency has four roles at £120,000 a year while the Civil Aviation Authority has the same number of roles but at £250,088 annually.
Diversity and inclusion officers promote the representation and participation of different groups of individuals, including people of different ages, races and ethnicities, abilities and disabilities, genders, religions, cultures and sexual orientations.
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