Up to four in 10 jobs could be axed at the department for Communities and Local Government following the spending review, it has been announced.
The department, which is facing a 33 per cent cut in its administrative budgets from 2011 to 2014, is facing an overhaul of its top structure.
The number of director generals at the department will be halved from six to three, while at the next most senior grade, six of the 21 director roles will be axed.
Sir Bob Kerslake, who becomes permanent secretary of the CLG on 1 November, said that he intends the restructure to be completed within two years.
He said 40 per cent of the jobs might go and a voluntary redundancy will be offered to civil servants. Job cuts will be made in sequence, from the top down.
Sir Bob said: ‘We’ll do more enabling and less intervening. We will be smaller department but stronger and we will play a more strategic role, punching our weight in Whitehall.
‘We are streamlining at every level and it starts at the top. This is an opportunity to improve the way we work. It is my intention that we move at pace to reduce the certainty for everyone.’
Two of the new director general roles will cover localism and neighbourhoods while the third will involve leading finance and corporate services.