HC Deb 25 October 1976 vol 918 cc98-9W
Mr. Teddy Taylor

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will explain why it has been necessary for the staff of the Scottish Office to increase from 9,807 in March 1974 to 10,643 on 1st July 1976; and whether he anticipates that the staff will increase further.

Mr. Millan

Of the increase of 836 between 1st March 1974 and 1st July 1976, 308 is accounted for by a much needed improvement in recruitment to the Scottish Prison Service and to the State Hospital, Carstairs; and 170 reflects the transfer to the Scottish Office on 1st July 1975 of staff from the Department of Industry mainly engaged on selective assistance to Scottish industry. The remaining 358 were spread over the wide range of duties covered by my departments and by centralised support services.

As indicated in "Our Changing Democracy: Devolution to Scotland and Wales" (Cmnd 6348), devolution will require an increase in staff of about 1,000, including 200 for the Scottish Assembly. This will be partially offset by further reductions in non-prison staff required to meet the Scottish Office share of the staff cost savings announced by the Minister for the Civil Service on 29th July. As stated then, the Scottish Office will be required to find savings of £2.4 million in 1978–79 which represents a reduction of about 600 to 700 non-prison posts compared with previously forecast levels.