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Home Industry News Defra in meeting over “budget crisis”

Defra in meeting over “budget crisis”

5th February 2008

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is to meet environment secretary Hilary Benn tomorrow to discuss the current “budget crisis”, it is reported.

According to the Guardian newspaper, the department has been unable to cut back and save sufficiently to meet a £300 million shortfall from April.

Despite compulsory redundancies and severance packages, Defra is still £100 million short, it notes.

The Guardian states that the departure of chief veterinary officer Debby Reynolds has been the most senior voluntary redundancy.

A spokesman for the organisation told the newspaper: “Defra, like all government departments, must ensure spending is in pursuit of our aims and priorities and gives best value for money for the taxpayer.”

Earlier this month, more than 700 government vets, scientists and specialists began a work-to-rule following Defra’s pay award decision for 2007.

The union Prospect claimed the award denied more experienced staff a pay increase.

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