HC Deb 08 February 1966 vol 724 cc193-4
27. Mr. Marten

asked the Minister of Technology by what percentage wages and salaries have risen in the last year in the Government establishments for which he is responsible.

The Minister of Technology (Mr. Frank Cousins)

Changes in individual rates of pay have conformed with such wage and salary movements as have applied to the Civil Service as a whole.

Mr. Marten

Would the right hon. Gentleman say what action he has taken or is taking to see that wages in the departments over which he has some influence do not go above the norm? For example, would he consider making a firm statement in favour of keeping wage increases in line with the incomes policy?

Mr. Cousins

It will be the intention of the Government in total, not Ministers as individuals, to maintain the high level of productivity which will encourage high earnings.

Mr. Biffen

Would the right hon. Gentleman say why he cannot give the percentage increase figure? Has he represented to his right hon. Friend the First Secretary the serious disadvantages under which he labours if he is unable to provide this kind of statistical information, information which must be essential if the Government and the nation are to understand whether or not the incomes policy is succeeding?

Mr. Cousins

To answer the first part of that supplementary question, I can give the total in terms of a percentage. To ascertain precisely the percentage increase in salary and wage rates would involve a considerable amount of work, but the percentage increase has been approximately 3½ per cent. To answer the second part, of course the information, as is well known by hon. Gentlemen opposite, is not as readily available as it should be in our statistical records.