HC Deb 15 November 1983 vol 48 c717
15. Mr. Dobson

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services why 78 per cent. of the total manpower cuts for England are expected of district and special health authorities in Greater London.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke

The manpower targets reflect the revenue position and individual circumstances of each region. London's health services remain funded at well above the national average level of spending. The lower manpower target for London reflects the general policy of making economies in better provided parts of London to provide extra resources for less well provided areas of the country.

Mr. Dobson

Does the Minister agree that the figures propounded by the Government for job losses in London due to Government measures are only a quarter or a fifth of the true figures? Does he accept that in the Greenwich district, in which the Government estimate is 145 job losses, the actual figure is likely to be 600 and that in Haringey, for which the official figure is 53, the actual figure is likely to be 298?

Mr. Clarke

The hon. Gentleman is misinterpreting the figures. Our target figures reflect a balance between the jobs which are, and always will be, required for new developments to improve the service and the number of posts that can be saved through more efficient use of manpower. The hon. Gentleman takes only one side of the equation. If the savings are made, the health authorities will release resources which would otherwise be wasted on unnecessary staffing and thus be able to improve their services. There has already been a growth of expenditure in London since the Government came to power. That area will therefore be able to press on with worthwhile developments despite the redistribution of growth money throughout the whole country.