HC Deb 25 July 1929 vol 230 cc1493-4

(by Private Notice) asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in view of the anxiety among civil servants as to their position in regard to the probable drop in the cost of living bonus on 1st September next, he will be able to make a statement on the subject before the House rises?

The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Philip Snowden)

Under the operation of the present bonus scheme for the Civil Service, bonus is subject to review on the 1st March and 1st Septmeber each year on the basis of the average cost of living figure (rounded up to the nearest multiple of five points) for the preceding six months. On this basis the bonus now in course of payment is related to a cost of living figure of 70, and it may confidently be assumed that the bonus payable tinder the scheme for the period of six months beginning 1st September next would fall to be assessed on the basis of a cost of living figure of 65. The arrangement by which bonus is recalculated twice a year on 1st March and 1st September is open to serious objection. It means inevitably that the civl servant's remuneration is higher in the summer, when living is cheapest, than in the winter, when living is most expensive. After full and anxious consideration, I have decided that the rate of bonus now payable shall remain in operation for the six-months period begining 1st September next. I estimate that the effect of this modification in the existing scheme will be to increase the remuneration of civil servants during this period of six months to the extent of approximately £800,000.


Will that involve a Supplementary Estimate?


I think it will. I believe the Estimates were framed on the assumption that there would probably be a drop in the present standard.