Wales politics

Wales Office criticised over £500,000 temp staff bill

Jo Stevens
Image caption Cardiff Central MP Jo Stevens described the use of temps as "terrible Tory mismanagement"

The Wales Office spent more than £500,000 on temporary agency staff in the past six years, according to government figures.

The figures were released in response to a parliamentary question by shadow Welsh secretary Jo Stevens.

They showed money spent on agency staff in the most expensive year (2014-15) could have paid for 11 full-time positions.

A UK government spokesman said they needed to fill posts at short notice.

Over the past six years, the figures showed staffing levels at the Wales Office were reduced from 57 to 44 permanent staff.

Ms Stevens described the spending as "typical terrible Tory mismanagement".

"It's a complete false economy and puts more pressure on everyone and leaves temporary workers with worse pay and conditions and no job security," she said.

She called on the current Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns to "plan properly" and "build a department that has enough staff for the work it does rather than trying to cut corners".

A UK government spokesman said agency costs increased in 2013-14 and 2014-15 because of the "need to fill at short notice a number of business-critical posts temporarily" while recruitment campaigns were under way.

He added that Wales hosted a Nato conference in late 2014 and a global investment conference in Newport shortly afterwards.

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