Northern Ireland has the most, with 27.7 per cent of all workers on the public payroll. This is closely followed by 25.7 per cent in Wales and 23.5 per cent in Scotland. Across the country fewer than one in fi e workers – 19.4 per cent, or 5.7 million people – are reliant on state jobs thanks to Coalition cuts.
This is down from 6.2 million staff, or 22 per cent of the total workforce, during the years of massive expansion under Labour. In the South-east just 16.6 per cent depend on the Government for their salary, according to new fi gures from the Offi ce for National Statistics.
But finance experts and Tory politicians have warned that more needs to be done as every British household faces a bill of £1,600-a-year for public sector pensions.
Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “In many parts of the country, there are still far too many working in the bloated public sector bureaucracy.
The proportion of people employed by the state varies markedly across the country though most regions still now have more people working in the private sector than in March 2008.
Within England, the lowest percentages were in the South-east, the East (16.7 per cent) and London (16.9 per cent). Across the UK, London had the highest number of people employed in the public sector, at 741,000 but it has a larger population than other areas, bringing the percentage total down. In most regions the number of people employed by councils has fallen since 2008, although it is up slightly in Northern Ireland. The education sector accounts for 1.5 million jobs; public administration 1.1 million.
Pensions analyst Michael Johnson said: “The future costs to taxpayers could be as high as £41billion a year, considerably higher than previously thought, not least because of exemptions for the public sector in the Public Sector Pensions Bill.”
David Cameron has repeatedly promised a private-sector led recovery, and boasted the Coalition has created up to a million jobs.