HC Deb 18 April 1980 vol 982 c742W
Mr. Michael Brown

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what are the proposed reductions in the number of civil servants employed in his Department; and what reductions so far have been carried out.

Mr. Patrick Jenkin

Between 1 May 1979 and 1 April 1980, the number of permanent civil servants in the Department fell by 2,114. This figure is net of some increases for the intensified effort against fraud and abuse and for an anticipated rise in demand-led work.

A reduction in administrative costs equivalent to about 2,800 posts will be made in the current financial year. Most, although not all, of this saving will be in manpower. For future years, up to 1983–84, some measures from my right hon. and noble Friend the Lord President's review which will produce savings in the Department have already been announced. These are expected to amount to the equivalent of 1,590 posts. Further measures to achieve economy within the same time scale remain under study, notably proposals for an employers' statutory sick pay scheme.