To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many (a) early retirements and (b) ill-health retirements there were as a percentage of the total workforce in (i) the Audit Commission and (ii) the average local authority in England in the last year for which figures are available. 
During the year to 31 October 2002 (the end of the Audit Commission's last complete financial year), the percentage of Commission staff who retired early was 0.1 per cent. of staff employed. There were no retirements on the grounds of ill-health. Between 1 April 2001 and 31 March 2002 the average percentages of staff of English local authorities retiring early and because of ill-health were 0.7 per cent. and 0.5 per cent. respectively.