23. Mr. Edward M. Taylor
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will make provision for an increase, to take account only of the cost of living, in the salaries of civil servants receiving mark-time salaries following their transfer to lower graded positions in consequence of redundancy agreements; whether he is aware that certain existing agreements involve considerable hardship on the part of the older civil servants so affected; and if he will make a statement.
In view of the rather unsatisfactory answer to the Question, is the hon. and learned Gentleman aware that, under the arrangements negotiated with the Treasury, in Departments where there is reorganisation and consequent redundancy and down-grading, some people are in the position that they will get no increase whatsoever to take account of the increased cost of living for many years? Will he note that one particular case that I have in mind is that of a gentleman who was formerly in a grade receiving£1,426 per annum and is retaining that amount on a personal basis but is now in a grade with a maximum of£900, which means that he will have no increase for many years?
§ Mr. MacDermot
I am sure that the hon. Gentleman does not want to lose sight of the basic principle that an employee in a given job should have the rate for the job. What he is referring to is a special concession in order to avoid an actual drop in take-home pay for someone who has been transferred to other employment at a lower rate. This enables him to retain his former rate. One has also to bear in mind the person's position in relation to someone who has served throughout in the grade concerned.
Mr. J. T. Price
Would not my hon. and learned Friend agree that salary and wage matters should be adjusted through the established trade union machinery and not the Order Paper of the House of Commons?
§ Mr. Younger
Would not the hon. and learned Gentleman agree that when the mark-time salaries were originally introduced into the system it was not envisaged that anybody would be on them for more than two or three years? Is he aware that in present conditions there are people who are having to face being on them for eight to ten years, and that is a long time to go without any increase when the cost of living is going up?
§ Mr. MacDermot
I think that the position of such people in their new job must be considered in relation to the people who have been in that job possibly for an equivalent period.