Can the UK government really offshore tens of thousands of jobs?

Ever since the government announced its massive cost cutting initiative the people I have spoken to all seem to agree on one thing. Costs can be cut by offshoring work to India.

There is certainly scope for more offshoring because there are no Indian companies in the government’s top 20 suppliers.

It does seem to make sense to offshore to cut costs but there are some strong counter arguments. There is an example from a reader below.

I write this blog because Ovum has become the latest analyst firm to suggest that now that the government has the drive to cut costs jobs will most probably be offshored to lower cost regions.

I wrote about this in February and got some interesting comments from IT professionals in the public sector.

Here is an example of the reaction the government should be prepared for. This was a comment left in the blog post I wrote in February. See this link for the blog and reaction to it.

“There is no justification whatsoever for the UK government using UK taxpayers’ money to subsidise the export of skilled jobs from the UK to the Indian IT industry. Any moves to do so would destroy career opportunities for UK-based IT staff, eliminate skilled jobs, reduce tax revenues from people working in those jobs, increase the numbers of unemployed IT workers having to claim benefits, and contribute to the permanent long-term decline of the IT skills base in the UK.

Nobody who has seen the colossal amounts of money already wasted on government IT projects managed by New Labour’s favourite consultancies, much of which has already flowed offshore to the Indian subsidiaries of those same consultancies, would believe that any savings on salary costs through yet more outsourcing to India will be translated into genuine savings for the end client – the UK taxpayer. After all, it’s never happened in the past, despite plenty of offshoring and onshoring by government-subsidised consultancies.

So I’m damned if I see why our taxes should be used to support the Indian IT industry instead of our own. Any government that pursues this path had better count on losing a lot of votes – and tax revenues.”