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Departmental Expenditure

Volume 979: debated on Wednesday 20 February 1980

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asked the Minister for the Civil Service what progress he is making in cutting expenditure in his Department.

Expenditure by the Civil Service Department in the current financial year—1979–80—will be contained within the revised cash limits announced by my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury on 26 June 1979, which took account of a 3 per cent. reduction in the pay component. A further reduction of £2·3 million—10½ per cent.—is planned by the end of the fiancial year 1983–84.

I thank my hon. Friend for that answer. Will he accept that one of the more effective ways of reducing Civil Service expenditure is to reduce the duplication of jobs carried out by central and local government? Will my hon. Friend encourage his right hon. and hon. Friends to extend the removal of controls along the line suggested by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment?

I most certainly agree with my hon. Friend's remarks I am grateful to him for drawing my attention to the matter. It is an issue about which I shall continually press my colleagues.