The Government has been accused of a "smash and grab" on public services after figures showed that thousands of civil service jobs have been cut over the past year.

Civil service employment fell by 35,000 to 463,000 in the year to March, said the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The Public and Commercial Services union said more than 60,000 posts had been axed in the first two years of the coalition government.

General secretary Mark Serwotka said: "The figures show the extent of the damage being done by this out of touch government.

"Those least culpable for the economic crisis and least able to pay are being forced to shoulder the greatest burden."

The PCS Union said that morale in the civil service is at "rock bottom".

The number of full-time civil servants fell by just over 34,000 to 354,250 in the year to March, while part-time employees in the service fell by about 550 to 109,562, said the ONS.

A Cabinet Office spokesman said: "We are reforming the Civil Service so it will be smaller, flatter, faster, more unified, more digital, more accountable for delivery, more capable, better managed, and - ultimately - more fun to work for.

"The Civil Service is at its smallest since the Second World War, with most civil servants doing operational roles, delivering services direct to the public."