§ 34. Mr. Ian Bruce
To ask the Minister of State, Lord Chancellor's Department what is the current workload of the Land Registry; and what assessment he has made of the employment prospects of Land Registry staff as a result of the change in demand and the increased use of information technology. 
§ Mr. Hoon
The current workload of the Land Registry is 10.8 million transactions for the first nine months of 1998–99. This compares with 9.3 million transactions for the same period in 1997–98 and represents an increase in business of 15.6 per cent.
Employment prospects for Land Registry staff have not changed as a result of its use of information technology. In response to increased property market activity in 1997-98, the Land Registry recruited 330 new members of staff to maintain service level requirements. Over the current financial year, the Land Registry intends recruiting some 240 staff to replace those lost through natural wastage. Information technology has enabled the Land Registry to develop the talents, skill and enthusiasm of its staff to provide a progressively improving service whilst maintaining a workforce in the region of 8,500.