§ Mr. Galbraith
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will give the cost so far in redundancy and early retirement payments resulting from the privatisation of National Health Service ancillary services.
§ Mr. Michael Forsyth
The first contracts to be awarded in the present round of competitive tendering for NHS ancillary services—which is not privatisation—are only now coming into effect. It is therefore too soon to give precise costs but eventual redundancy payments and premature retirement compensation costs resulting from this round are estimated to total £4 million and £800,000 respectively.