UKBA insists securing border, controlling migration remains a priority 21st October 2010: Even as it is becoming apparent that approximately 20,000 police and immigration officers will lose their jobs after the slashing of Home Office budget by almost a quarter, the UK Border Agency has asserted securing border and controlling migration will remain its priority.
As part of government action to reduce the public deficit, the agency’s budget will be reduced by up to 20 per cent over the next four years. `The agency will be smaller but more efficient, and will balance funding from the taxpayer with income from fees for migrants and visitors to the UK,’ the UKBA said.
It added: `While meeting our international obligations, we will drive down the cost of asylum support and make greater use of technology, focusing efforts on the greatest risks and improving productivity’.
As of now it is believed 20,000 posts would eventually be axed in England and Wales over four years.
According to `auditing giant’ KPMG estimates, 18,000 police officers could be asked to pack off over the next four-year period. The Police Federation, on the other hand, puts the figure at 20,000.
Police Federation Chairman Paul McKeever said while appreciating the government’s view that they should purely fight crime, the reality was that police officers dealt with a multitude of tasks that fell outside of this remit, including the care and welfare of vulnerable citizens.
The estimates suggest spending on counter-terrorism policing will be slashed by 10 per cent. More than 5,000 of the 25,000 posts in the UKBA will also be abolished as its budget is cut by 20 per cent.
Commenting on the developments, Home Secretary Theresa May said her absolute priority was to ensure the UK retains its capabilities to protect the public.
Shadow Home Secretary Ed Balls, on the other hand, said this was not only reckless and dangerous for jobs and the economy, but was taking huge risks with the public’s safety.