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Departmental Budget

Volume 517: debated on Wednesday 3 November 2010

12. Whether she plans to amend the administration and staff costs in her Department’s budget for 2010-11. (20335)

My Department’s budget for 2010-11 was fixed as part of the comprehensive spending review. On costs within my Department, since taking office I have been exploring ways to find efficiency savings and have already achieved significant savings on rail travel and hotel accommodation.

Does the Secretary of State have any plans to reduce the number of days taken in sick leave by staff in her Department, so that it is the best in the public sector?

I am not aware that there are different rates of sick leave in my Department from any other, but I will undertake to my hon. Friend to have a look at the records in my Department and return to the point in writing to him.

My Department stands up for Wales, unlike the previous Secretary of State, who stood back from Wales, allowed it to become the poorest nation in the UK and then compared it to Rwanda.