§ Mrs. Beckett
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what are his Department's latest estimates of the number of additional staff employed by public authorities in Great Britain as a direct result of the introduction of the housing benefit scheme; and what is the net additional expenditure attributable to these additional posts in 1984–85.
§ Dr. Boyson
As my right hon. Friend told the Social Services Select Committee on 20 June, staff savings of 2,400 were achieved in DHSS as a result of the introduction of the housing benefit scheme. There are indications that, for a number of reasons, including312W transitional difficulties, increases in the number of claims and changes in the schemes themselves, the additional staff employed by local authorities may exceed this level. I will keep the hon. Member informed when further estimates become available in due course.