HC Deb 22 May 1979 vol 967 c77W
Mr. Kenneth Lewis

asked the Minister for the Civil Service what plans he has for cuts in the size of the Civil Service.

Mr. Channon

To help with their objective of reducing the claims of the public sector on the nation's resources, the Government are committed to making economies in Civil Service manpower. As a first step, the Civil Service pay component of the 1979–80 cash limits will be reduced by 3 per cent. before limits are adjusted to accommodate the non-industrial, and subsequently the industrial, pay settlement. Any exceptions will be strictly limited and subject to offsetting savings being found in other expenditure.

As a complementary measure, the Government have instituted a ban on recruitment into the Civil Service. It will last for three months in the first instance, and will be reviewed against the achievement of the 3 per cent. target. Exceptions will be strictly limited and made on a case-by-case basis.

This action in 1979–80 will be followed by careful consideration of ways of achieving greater savings in the longer term.

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