MoD is under attack for extra redundancies

Detail from an exact replica of Lord Nelson's diamond Chelengk jewels. Picture:Andrew Matthews/Press Association

Replica of Nelson’s stolen jewel on display

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The Ministry of Defence is set to double the number of civilian jobs it will cut this year to 8,000, union leaders have warned.

Prospect said it had learnt that the ministry was about to announce it will let 8,000 civilian staff go on early release in 2011/12.

National officer Steve Jary described the move as incomprehensible, saying: ‘A few weeks ago the MoD ruled out any increase on the 4,000 figure this year, saying it would be too risky to let more staff go in the operational climate.

‘Suddenly it is seized with panic and doubles the scale of job losses before it has even got approval from the Treasury to pay the redundancy bills. There is absolutely no justification for rushing through these damaging cuts other than to meet the Treasury’s budget targets.’

Prospect said the MoD originally planned to lose 4,000 civilian posts in 2011/12, 8,000 in 2012/13 and 3,500 in 2013/14, adding that another 5,000 posts would be lost by privatisation.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: ‘The overall number of civil servants being reduced has not changed and remains at 25,000 over four years. Owing to the high number of applications received for the voluntary early release scheme, we are looking at whether we can release more people earlier than intended.’