HC Deb 07 April 1982 vol 21 c950
44. Mr. Foulkes

asked the Minister for the Civil Service how recruitment to the lower-paid grades of the Civil Service in 1981 compares with the previous year.

Mr. Hayhoe

The provisional figure for the number of new entrants in 1981 to the non-industrial Home Civil Service in grades at clerical officer, or equivalent, and below, was 29,500. This compares with 43,500 in 1980.

Mr. Foulkes

Is the Minister aware of a sense of injustice and a lowering of morale among the lower-paid grades of the Civil Service resulting from the higher percentage pay offer to higher-paid grades than to lower-paid grades? Will he ensure that the lower-paid grades, especially hard working staff in social security and unemployment benefit offices, get a much more substantial increase than will the mandarins in Whitehall?

Mr. Hayhoe

The hon. Gentleman will know, as he follows these matters, that the issue has now gone to arbitration. I do not think that it would be appropriate for me to comment upon it. My own experience of some of the lower grades in the Civil Service is that they are glad to have the security of a Civil Service job.

Mr. Beaumont-Dark

Does my hon. Friend agree that irrespective of recruitment to the lower-paid grades, there might be some vacancies soon—bearing in mind the present situation—among the higher grades?

Mr. Hayhoe

The reductions taking place across the Civil Service are occurring at all levels. The open structure—the three most senior grades in the Civil Service—is bearing its share of the reductions.

Mr. Bidwell

In view of the critical situation in the Falklands, does the hon. Gentleman expect that we shall need more, or fewer, civil servants in the Ministry of Defence?

Mr. Hayhoe

I presume that the hon. Gentleman is trying to pre-empt the debate that is to follow. I suggest that he waits for that debate.

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