HC Deb 12 July 1965 vol 716 c24
29. Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance what category of employee in her Department is in receipt of the lowest wage or salary scale; what this income is; how much it would cost to increase the salaries of those in this category by 25 per cent.; and whether she will give similar details with regard to their pension entitlements.

Miss Herbison

Women cleaners outside London who receive £8 11 s. 6d. a week. A 25 per cent. increase would cost about £113,000 a year. It is not possible to answer the last part of the Question since the pension depends on variable factors which cannot be accurately forecast.

Mr. Lewis

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there are many people in her Department doing excellent work who are not getting as much in salary as many of us would like to see? Is she further aware that we should like them to have a 25 per cent. increase rather than those who, for the sake of the rules of order, I am not allowed to mention by name?

Miss Herbison

My hon. Friend will be aware that, whatever wages or salaries are paid in our Ministry, or in any other Ministry, they are negotiated in the usual way. I do not think that we in this House would want to interfere with these negotiations which we consider important in a democratic country.