HC Deb 16 February 1982 vol 18 c139
21. Mr. Hannam

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is his estimate of (a) the savings by 1984 as a result of the reductions in university expenditure and (b) the cost of redundancies of university staff in the same period.

Mr. Waldegrave

My right hon. Friend estimates that by the end of the financial year 1983–84 cumulative savings at constant prices will be over £200 million and that the savings thereafter will be of the order of £150 million a year. The cost of redundancies depends on decisions by individual universities about how to adjust to their new levels of funding.

Mr. Hannam

Does not the fact that the Government have had to make a substantial increase in the finance available for the redundancy scheme show that the case for extension of the time scale is well founded?

Mr. Waldegrave

No, Sir. Even the figures of the Association of University Teachers, which made as favourable assumptions for teachers as possible, show that there was an outlay of £100 million on academic redundancies to make an annual saving of £77 million. That is not a bad deal.

Mr. Cryer

Is it not disgraceful that the Government are continuously talking about cutbacks in university expenditure, and a reduction of choice and of opportunities for young people, while at the same time they are talking about spending between £6 billion and £10 billion on Trident nuclear missiles? Where are the Government's priorities? Surely they should be spending more on universities and creating more opportunities for young people?

Mr. Waldegrave

The Government will be spending billions of pounds on higher education. That they are also spending billions of pounds on the proper defence of the country is entirely just.