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Volume 982: debated on Wednesday 16 April 1980

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asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will take steps to improve

Staff in postSalary cost (£)
1st April 1979 1st Jan. 1980 1st April 19791st January 1980
Gradeper headtotalper headtotal
Senior executive officer8,1028,0797,81063,277,0008,98972,622,000
The table covers the staff in post in the Home national Civil Service. The salary cost excludes employers' national insurance contributions.

asked the Minister for the Civil Service to what extent there would be an annual saving to the Exchequer if the positions of under- secretaries and senior executive officers were abolished and their work done by those in the grades below or above; and whether he will take action along these lines in accordance with the Government's policy of cutting public expenditure.

The size of any saving to the Exchequer if the grades of under-secretary and senior executive officer were abolished would depend on whether and to what extent there would need to be compensating increases in the number of practical co-operation within the EEC; and if he will make a statement.

The Government work constantly to improve practical co-operation within the European Community in ways which will benefit Britain and the Community as a whole. We support, for example, improved policies affecting trade, transport, energy and regional development. This would help balance the excessive proportion of the budget spent on the common agricultural policy. We also strongly support the development of a common approach to foreign policy issues.