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Public Funds (Economies)

Volume 955: debated on Thursday 3 August 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what economies in the use of public funds have been achieved by his Department within the past three years; and what sums have been saved as a result.

The final outturn for 1974–75 in respect of public expenditure —PESC—programmes for which my right hon. Friend's Department has responsibility was £272·5 million at 1978 prices. The latest estimated outturn for the same programmes for 1977–78, also at 1978 prices, is £250·3 million, a reduction of £22·2 million.The main areas of expenditure in which economies have been achieved were those involving expenditure on staff and the diplomatic estate overseas. In the 1974–75 estimates, provision was made for 10,528 United Kingdom based staff. In the 1977–78 estimates, the corresponding number was 10,172 a reduction of 356. Over the same period the number of locally engaged staff provided for fell by 332.In 1974–75 expenditure on the diplomatic estate overseas totalled £35·5 million at 1978 prices against expenditure of £24·6 million in 1977–78, a saving of £10·9 million.