But the Recruitment and Employment Confederation's Public Sector Resourcing campaign has put the case forward for the cuts to be properly thought through and for flexible staffing arrangements to be recognised as a core element of cost-effective resourcing strategies.
The campaign also highlights the need for new skills and competencies to be bought into public bodies in order to manage the change process.
Commenting on the Government's announcement and on the forthcoming Budget, Tom Hadley, the REC's director of external relations, said: "The need to reduce public expenditure is a given, but knee-jerk cuts would result in an unravelling of front-line services and put more stress on our fragile jobs market. Agency budgets will come under pressure but the reality is that temporary and contract workers are not brought in on a whim - they perform crucial frontline roles. Challenging pre-conceived ideas and off-the-peg solutions will play a key role in achieving sustainable reform as well as lasting improvements in productivity and innovation."