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Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 24 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs with reference to the answer of 25 November 2008, Official Report, columns 1208-09W, on redundancy, what estimate he has made of the annual payroll savings resulting from staff exit schemes in (a) 2005-06, (b) 2006-07, (c) 2007-08 and (d) 2008-09, excluding the cost of severance packages; and what estimate he has made of such savings to be accrued by his Department in (i) 2009-10 and (ii) 2010-11. (254396)

[holding answer 5 February 2009]: The annual payroll savings resulting from departures under staff exit schemes in 2007-08 were £5.7 million and in 2008-09 £3.5 million. Complete records are not held centrally for 2005-06 or 2006-07 and to obtain them would incur disproportionate cost.

The figures given for severance commitments in my answer of 25 November 2008 represented the total cost to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (to be paid out over periods of up to 10 years following the departure date) of all the severance packages agreed each year.

Reliable estimates of the balance between cost and savings of these departures would require calculating the annual payments and foregone salary up to age 60 for each member of staff who left under the schemes between 2005 and 2009. This would incur disproportionate cost.

All severance packages authorised under our early retirement schemes were calculated in strict accordance with the Civil Service Compensation Scheme.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office does not plan any large-scale exit schemes for the years 2009-10 and 2010-11.