§ Mr. Ground
To ask the Minister for the Civil Service if there are any proposals to change the 1988–89 cash limit for the office of the Minister for the Civil Service.
§ Mr. Luce
Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary Supplementary Estimate, the cash limit for the Office of the Minister for the Civil Service (class XX, vote 1) will be increased by £2,889,000 from £30,994,000 to £33,883,000. The increase will be charged to the reserve and will not therefore add to the planned total of public expenditure. The increase is required to cover the cost of physical security improvements to the Downing street complex and other buildings; refurbishment and maintenance in 10 Downing street and uprating of the telecommunications system (this charge is partially offset by appropriations in aid); charges by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for the provision of conference officers for visits overseas by the Prime Minister (previously provided as an allied service); additional costs associated with the running of a competition for recruitment of direct entry grade 7 staff (this charge is offset by a corresponding decrease of £92,000 in the votes for the various Departments who are participating in the scheme). The increase also reflects the decision to disburse to charities and benevolent associations the savings to the Exchequer arising from the underpayment of public service pensioners as a result of the miscalculation of RPI increases.
The above increases have a consequent effect on the Department's running costs limit which will increase by £831,000 from £28,773,000 to £29,604,000.