Fire and Rescue services to witness 10,000 job losses warns FBU
FBU will oppose these draconian attacks on an essential frontline service and robustly defend the key role firefighters play in keeping communities safe.
The Fire Brigade Union warned that ten thousand fire service jobs are under threat from government plans to slash 25 per cent from fire and rescue service budgets over the next four years. Responding to the Comprehensive Spending Review, Matt Wrack, general secretary of the FBU, said: "This government seems intent on imposing cuts that will wreak havoc within the fire and rescue service and short change both the public and firefighters.
"These pernicious cuts must be fought to defend public safety. They are not inevitable, but politically driven. The FBU will oppose these draconian attacks on an essential frontline service and robustly defend the key role firefighters play in keeping communities safe.
"We cannot just meekly roll over and accept this. Neither should the employers. Firefighters are professionals and we won't stand by and see our service dismantled piecemeal."
A treasury document spells out that central government grants to local authorities to fund fire and rescue services will be reduced by 25 per cent over four years.
In announcing the measures in Parliament, Chancellor George Osborne encouraged fire and rescue services to compete for the shrinking pot of public funds. He said that fire and rescue services could "limit budget reduction in return for substantial operational reform". Measures mentioned include "flexible working arrangements" and "pay restraint and recruitment freezes".
Matt Wrack commented: "This is pitting one fire and rescue service against another as resources dwindle, rewarding those who drive down pay and conditions and penalising the rest more. It is bullying and divisive."
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