HC Deb 19 February 1968 vol 759 cc20-1
37. Mr. Holland

asked the Minister of Labour what estimate he has made of the total number of civil servants who will be employed by his Department on 31st December, 1968; and how this compares with the equivalent date in 1967.

34. Mr. Tom Boardman

asked the Minister of Labour what decrease in recruitment to his Department during 1968 will result from the policy announced by the Government on 16th January.

Mr. Gunter

The total staff of my Department on 31st December, 1967, was 29,920, including 970 industrial staff. On 31st December, 1968, I expect to have some 500 fewer non-industrial civil servants. Not all the decrease will result from the policy announced on 16th January.

Mr. Holland

Can the right hon. Gentleman give slightly more detailed information about which of the functions of his Department will have to stand the greatest burden as a result of the cuts which he has announced?

Mr. Gunter

I do not think that there will be any burden on any section. There will, I am sure, be a fall in unemployment, which will give us some relief there; and there will be a saving of staff as a result of the introduction of payment of selective employment refunds and premia by computer.

Mr. Scott

As the staff of his Ministry rose by over 1,500 between July and October, what has changed so dramatically so that a decrease is now possible?

Mr. Gunter

When I bring blessings, they are not well received. There has been no dramatic change. This is our assessment for the coming year, and I had hoped that it would be well received.

Mr. Kenneth Lewis

How many are employed in administering the Selective Employment Tax—the question I missed a minute ago?

Mr. Gunter

Yes, I remember that. I do not know whether it is in order, Mr. Speaker, to answer a previous question on this, but the answer is "None".