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1979-1987 : Mr Major’s Written Parliamentary Answer on Departmental Staff

Below is the text of Mr Major's written Parliamentary Answer on Departmental Staff on 13th January 1986.


Mr. Deakins Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what estimate he has made of changes in the work load of his Department's local office staff since 1979.

Mr. Major There has been a large number of changes in work loads and procedures both in supplementary benefit and contributory benefits since 1979. These have involved variously both reduced and increased activity and their net effect on the national complement has been a reduction of 4,229 posts.

Mr. Skinner Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many jobs have been lost in his Department's offices in the east Midlands since May 1979.

Mr. Major I assume that the hon. Member is referring to those offices which were in the Department's east Midlands and East Anglia region before re-organisation in August 1982.

In May 1979 the complement for these offices was 3,465. The present complement is 3,559.5.

Mr. Skinner Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will now increase the number of typists working in local offices of his Department by at least 2,000 extra posts; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Major No. Such a proposal forms part of a bid for over 15,000 additional staff made recently by the Departmental trade union side which is currently being considered.

Mr. Skinner Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will now increase the number of special case officers working in local offices of his Department by at least 200 posts; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Major No. Such a proposal forms part of a bid for over 15,000 additional staff made recently by the Departmental trade union side and which is currently being considered.

Mr. Skinner Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many local offices of his Department in England now use staff to handwrite rather than type letters to claimants.

Mr. Major All local offices of the Department of Health and Social Security make use of both handwritten and typed letters to claimants. The Department prefers individual letters to be typed, but often a handwritten letter or the completion by hand of a pre-printed standard letter or form, is the quickest and simplest way to make an inquiry or to provide information.