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Civil Servants

Volume 927: debated on Friday 11 March 1977

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asked the Minister for the Civil Service whether he will make a statement on the Government's actions or intentions regarding the reductions to be made in the number of civil servants; to what extent reductions have been made or intended; to what extent redundancy payments have been paid or promised; what are the number and grades affected; and to what extent money has been, or is being spent on advertisements calling for persons to apply for vacancies caused in part by these staff reductions.

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Carshalton (Mr. Forman) on 27th January 1977, in which I gave a breakdown by Department of the savings on forecast Civil Service expenditure announced last July. To these figures must be added the £30 million savings in 1977–78 announced in December and set out in detail in the table below. The number of posts involved is a matter for the Departments concerned, but these expenditure cuts are consistent with a Civil Service of around the ¾ million mark for the rest of this year and 10,000 or 15,000 less over the next two or three years. Our aim is to absorb as many as possible of the surplus staff, either within the Department concerned or elsewhere in the Civil Service, and the level of normal wastage is such that we do not expect many redundancies, although there may be problems in particular locations or areas of work. If redundancy arises, benefits are provided under the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme. Staff reductions do not cause vacancies which need to be filled by recruitment.

£30M SAVING: ALLOCATION TO DEPARTMENTS (All figures at 1976 Public Expenditure Survey Prices)
1977–78 (£m.)
Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food1.3
Civil Service Department0.4
Her Majesty's Customs and Excise3.6
Department of Education and Science0.2
Department of Employment Group2.1
Department of the Environment (including PSA and Transport)2.2
Foreign and Commonwealth Office1.0
Department of Industry0.4
Inland Revenue11.4
Home Office2.0
Department for National Savings0.9
Scottish Office0.9
Her Majesty's Stationery Office3.0
Other Departments2.3