HC Deb 09 August 1972 vol 842 cc1722-3
35. Mr. William Hamilton

asked the Minister for the Civil Service what progress has been made in the two years June, 1970, to June, 1972, in reducing the total number of non-industrial civil servants.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Civil Service Department (Mr. Kenneth Baker)

The Civil Service has been reduced by nearly 13,000 between 1st July, 1970, and 1st July, 1972. In this period there has been an increase of about 1,000 non-industrial staff and a reduction of about 14,000 industrial staff.

Mr. Hamilton

Is the hon. Gentleman satisfied that that fulfils the Government's election pledge to reduce the number of civil servants? Has he taken into account the fact that the introduction of value added tax, apart from putting up the cost of living very substantially, will add 6,000 or 7,000 civil servants to the list he has given?

Mr. Baker

I am satisfied that our record in this respect is infinitely better than the record of the Labour Government. In their first two years of office, 1964–66, they increased the size of the Civil Service by 2 per cent. We have reduced it by about 2 per cent. However, I have made it clear to the House on other occasions that increases are in the pipeline, not only because of value added tax but also because of certain social security measures which we have introduced, such as family income supplement and the constant attendance allowance. Part of the increase has been in the Home Office establishment where we have increased the number of prison officers by 1,700 since we have been on iffice.