HC Deb 27 January 1978 vol 942 cc835-6W
Mr. Lawrence

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his assessment of the annual growth rate necessary to bring the unemployment level below 1 million by 1980.

Mr. Joel Barnett

No estimate is available of the change in overall output which would produce a precise change in the level of unemployment in a specified time.

Mr. Baker

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what increase in public sector manpower is implied by the increases in current expenditure on goods and services projected in Command Paper No. 7049.

Mr. Joel Barnett

The relationship between the level of current expenditure on goods and services, as shown in Cmnd. 7049, and number of people employed in the public services is not a direct one. It depends on a number of factors which may vary over time; one of the more important is the proportion of part-time staff. However, the plans announced in Cmnd. 7049 do not require any increase in the size of the Civil Service or the Armed Forces, nor any substantial increase in employment by local authorities on a full-time equivalent basis—which has recently been falling; a small staff increase, of the order of 1 to 1½ per cent. a year, would be possible within the provision made for the National Health Service.