Thousands of jobs are to be cut from the Environment Agency in the next few years, a leading union has claimed.
The GMB said there were already a number of unfilled vacancies at the agency, with little or no indication that they will be filled.
The union accused the Government of claiming that not filling jobs when people left due to early retirement and voluntary redundancy or not filling vacant posts, did not seem to count as a job loss.
The union maintained there will be 3,000 fewer people working for the Environment Agency in three years time than there were 18 months ago.
“The Government is in denial that it is deliberately creating unemployment. Ministers do not seem to know what is happening on the ground or else they don’t care,” said GMB general secretary Paul Kenny.
“These are job losses pure and simple as they are posts which will not available to young workers or others seeking work. GMB has grave doubts that the private sector can create enough jobs to make up for these job losses.”
The GMB claimed Government ministers were not aware of what was happening on the ground with public sector job cuts.
The union has been tracking threatened redundancies in local authorities because of government spending cuts, saying the total is now well over 100,000.
An Environment Agency spokesperson said: “The GMB have taken a look at the Environment Agency along with a range of other public sector organisations and done some simplistic maths based on budget settlements. We do not recognise the figure that has been quoted.
“We do have to work with a reduced budget over the next few years but we haven’t finished the detailed business planning as a result of our settlement and have no plans of redundancies on that scale.”