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Departmental Savings

Volume 554: debated on Wednesday 28 November 2012

The Wales Office will be making savings of around £550,000 in 2013-14, which amounts to a 10% saving in its administration budget.

With Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland now having Assemblies or Parliaments of their own, many of us would like to see the three territorial Departments rolled into one to save taxpayer funds. Given that that is not part of the coalition’s programme, will my right hon. Friend at least look at more joint working and shared services between the three Departments so as to save money for the taxpayer?

I am pleased to say that that joint working already takes place. In fact, the Wales Office is working actively with the other territorial offices to identify shared working arrangements and we also have a shared parliamentary team. I must take issue with my hon. Friend: I think that Wales benefits immensely from having a Wales Office here at Westminster and I would not want to see it submerged in a quasi-colonial office.