§ 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.