§ 5. Mr. Michael
To ask the President of the Board of Trade what proposals he has to secure the future and effective deployment of civil servants in the Export Credits Guarantee Department who were not affected by the sale of the insurance section to NCM.
§ The Minister for Trade (Mr. Richard Needham)
I have endorsed the recommendations of the ECGD management board that there should be no major change to the distribution of functions between London and Cardiff for at least three years.
§ Mr. Michael
Will the Minister acknowledge that moving jobs from Cardiff to London—now or in three years' time—would be against the Government's policy of dispersing civil service jobs from London to the regions, Wales and Scotland? Will he confirm, first, that the 200 jobs in Cardiff are safe and, secondly, that they will remain in Cardiff in the long term?
§ Mr. Needham
When NCM took over the short-term credit arrangements of ECGD, everybody who wanted to move to NCM was given the opportunity of doing so. These 200 jobs are for staff who decided that they would not go to NCM. They were aware that there was bound to be a reduction in the number of jobs because some of their work was being taken over by NCM. The functions have been reviewed by ECGD. There will be a further small reduction, but the jobs will be there for three years, after which we shall reconsider.