asked the Minister of Transport what plans he has for reducing further the numbers employed in his Department.
I already plan an 18 per cent. saving in staff costs over the next three years on top of a 4 per cent. reduction already achieved in 1979–80. 2,480 posts will be shed through changes in the operation of vehicle excise duty, in arrangements for managing the annual inspection of heavy goods vehicles, in simplifying bus licensing controls, and through a variety of internal efficiency measures. In addition, I am reviewing various other areas of the work of my Department and hope as a result to identify further manpower savings in due course. In particular, following the recent report on road construction units, prepared in consultation with Sir Derek Rayner, I am proposing the planned phasing out of road construction sub-units, which will reduce considerably the number of public sector staff involved.