HC Deb 10 December 1976 vol 922 cc380-1W
Mr. Baker

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will list the statutory powers, and other means available to him, to control or influence the number of people employed by, and the wage and salary bill of, local authorities or other public sector bodies not part of central government.

Mr. Ennals

The only relevant specific statutory power in relation to health authorities is that Schedule 1 of the National Health Service Reorganisation Act 1973 provides that my approval may be required for the determination of the remuneration of officers employed by health authorities. No overall control is exercised on the total numbers of staff employed or of the wages and salaries bill as a whole. While authorities are free, therefore, to decide on the proportion of their expenditure devoted to staff costs, these costs must be met within the financial constraint of their cash limit allocations. There are controls on the numbers of certain categories of staff employed, which are decided in consultation with the Authorities and other interests concerned.

I regret that similar information in respect of other bodies for which I am responsible is not readily available.