§ MR. ARTHUR O'CONNOR (Donegal, E.)
asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Whether, owing to changes in the Secretary's Department of the Inland Revenue, nine clerks are to be placed on pension, the majority of whom 866 have less than 40 years' service; whether they, or any of them, are to receive pensions based on full 40 years' service; whether also a new class of clerks, with salaries from £725 to £800 a-year, has been arranged, in addition to the existing class of principal clerks, whose salaries range from £600 to £700; whether the Treasury Authorities have satisfied themselves that the Service could not be more economically provided for; and, why such large establishment changes are being carried out in anticipation of the inquiry by the Royal Commission now sitting?
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Mr. GOSCHEN) (St. George's, Hanover Square)
The Treasury have recently sanctioned a re-organization of the Secretary's Department of the Inland Revenue on the basis of seven hours' work a-day instead of six. The principle which underlies the change is that the duties of the Department are in future to be discharged by fewer men with harder work and better pay, but at a reduced total cost to the State. I am glad to think that, acting on my suggestion, the Inland Revenue Department have been able to introduce a reform which will set an example that I hope may be followed with great advantage in other branches of that and other Offices. The staff of clerks has been reduced by nine, and consequently nine clerks retire. One of these has already earned his full pension, the other eight will receive the customary abolition terms, their vacancies not being filled. Five of them will receive pensions based on 40 years' service. Of these five one will have actually served 42 years, one 39¾ years, and the remaining three upwards of 30 years. A new class of Committee clerks, at the scale of salary named in the Question, forms a part of the scheme. The salaries involved in the new organization include duty pay, or, as it has been defined, special extra rates of payment attached to superior duties and work of a special character. This system, which has not been found to work well, will be entirely abolished under the present scheme. The Treasury is satisfied with the economies to be effected under this scheme. The new effective staff of the Office will cost less than the old effective staff by £4,300. The immediate saving, after deducting the whole of the pensions of the retiring 867 clerks, is £460; but if we deduct, as it is more correct to do, only that portion of them which is not already earned, the saving amounts to £3,300. In view of the greatness of the saving, and the obviously desirable character of the reform in all respects, I have not thought it well to postpone its introduction pending the Report of the Royal Commission.