§ Mr. Ralph Howell
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his latest estimate for reduction in the number of people engaged in local government in 1980, 1981 and 1982.
§ Mr. King
My right hon. Friend has asked local authorities to reduce their current expenditure in 1980–81 by 2½ per cent. compared with actual spending in 1978–79. Figures for 1981–82 will be announced in the forthcoming White Paper. I have made no estimate of the numbers of people who will be engaged in local government in 1980, 1981 and 1982. The outcome will depend on the spending and associated decisions of individual local authorities.