Departments: Redundancy

Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 5th March 2007.

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Photo of Justine Greening Justine Greening Vice-Chair (Youth), Conservative Party

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much was spent on (a) involuntary and (b) voluntary staff exit schemes in (i) her Department and (ii) each agency of the Department in each year since 1997-98; how much is planned to be spent for 2007-08; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Angela Smith Angela Smith Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Communities and Local Government, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

The Department for Communities and Local Government and its main predecessor (the former Office of the Deputy Prime Minister) did not run any early exit schemes during the years 2002-03 to 2004-05. In 2005-06, the former Office of the Deputy Prime Minister ran a voluntary exit scheme for the central Department and its staff in the Government offices for the regions to enable us to reduce our headcount.

In the current year (2006-07) Communities and Local Government has been running a voluntary exit scheme for central Department staff, and there was a small involuntary scheme covering the few staff for which the Department was unable to identify alternative employment following the closure of the emergency fire service facility at Marchington in Staffordshire. In addition, the Government offices for the regions have run a scheme for staff in the GOs as part of the implementation of the recommendations of the GO review. This scheme has been funded from contributions provided, by the sponsor Departments (including Communities) for the GO network.

For 2007-08, the Government offices plan a further exit scheme. No decision has yet been taken on whether there should be a further scheme for the central Department.

Neither the planning inspectorate nor the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre (trading fund) have run any early exit schemes since 1997-98, and none are currently planned for 2007-08. The Fire Service college has been running its first (voluntary) exit scheme during 2006-07. Again, no scheme is currently planned for 2007-08.

The costs of all these schemes are set out in the following table.

£ million
Department/agency/other Total first year payments under scheme( 1) Forecast total future years' payments under scheme( 2)
2005-06 Office of the Deputy Prime Minister: voluntary scheme 2.6 1.1
2006-07(3) Communities and Local Government: voluntary scheme 12.2 7.8
2006-07(3) Government Offices for the Regions: voluntary scheme 12.5 6.0
2006-07 Communities and Local Government—Marchington: involuntary scheme 0.3 0.1
2006-07(3) Fire Service College: voluntary scheme 0.6 0
2007-08(4) Government Offices for the Regions: voluntary scheme 8.0 (5)
(1) This comprises one-off payments to staff under the age of 50, and the first year costs of staff over 50 years of age who leave on early retirement terms.

(2) Expenditure to be incurred under the scheme in reimbursing the principal civil service pension scheme (PCSPS) for the costs of pension payments to early retirees until they reach age 60.

(3) Forecast.

(4) Plan.

(5) Subject to scheme take up.

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