To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions by how much he intends to change his Department's staffing level (a) across the UK and (b) in Gloucestershire, in each of the next three years; and if he will make a statement. 
Staffing levels in the Department of Work and Pensions are expected to reduce by around 15 per cent. from the numbers at the end of December 2002 to around 112,000 by March 2006. Detailed information is not available by year and individual location.The Department has undertaken a programme of modernisation, designed to improve the service we provide to our customers. The Department is investing in new offices and new ways of working through greater use of telephony and the internet. This investment will enable us to deliver our services with fewer staff and the reductions in staffing will enable this investment to be funded. Our aim will be to deliver the changes without the need for any compulsory redundancies.