Gareth Thomas (Harrow West, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what target he has set to reduce headcount across his Department, its non-departmental public bodies and executive agencies in (a) 2010-11, (b) 2011-12 and (c) 2012-13; and if he will make a statement.
Simon Burns (Minister of State (Health), Health; Chelmsford, Conservative)
The Department does not have specific headcount reduction targets for the years in question. In line with the parameters of the 2010 spending review, the Department is committed to reducing total administration costs by one-third in real terms over the period 2010-11 to 2014-15. The Department has already reduced its staffing expenditure significantly by running a voluntary exit scheme for permanent staff in 2010-11 and by reducing significantly its non-permanent workforce.
We expect the number of permanent staff in the Department to reduce further over the spending review period through turnover, voluntary redundancy and, if necessary, compulsory redundancy.
The reduction in funding over the spending review period applies to the Department's non-departmental public bodies and agency, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. While there are no specific headcount reduction targets, the impact will result in fewer staff in those organisations.