§ Queen's Recommendation having been signified—
§ 4.2 a.m.
§ The Minister of State, Civil Service Department (Mr. Robert Sheldon)
I beg to move,That the rate of the salary which may be granted to the Comptroller and Auditor General under section 1 of the Exchequer and Audit Departments Act 1957 be increased—With your permission, Mr. Deputy Speaker, I suggest that for the convenience of the House we debate at the same time the motion relating to the Parliamentary Commissioner:
746 and the date from which, under subsection (3) of that section, the person now holding that office is entitled to a salary at the said increased rates be 1st January 1974.
- (a) for periods before 1st June 1974 from £16,000 to £16,350 per annum;
- (b) for the period of June 1974 from £16,350 to £16,412.64 per annum;
- (c) for the period of July 1974 from £16,412.64 to £16,454.40 per annum; and
- (d) for later periods from £16,454.40 to £16,475.28 per annum.That the yearly rate of the salary payable to the Parliamentary Commissioner under section 2 of the Parliamentary Commissioner Act 1967 be increased—The motions just seek to ensure that both the Comptroller and Auditor General and the Parliamentary Commissioner remain at the same level of pay as a Permanent Secretary. The motions bring these two salaries into line.
and the date from which this Resolution is to take effect be 1st January 1974.
- (a) for periods before 1st June 1974 from £16,000 to £16,350;
- (b) for the period of June 1974 from £16,350 to £16,412.64;
- (c) for the period of July 1974 from £16,412.64 to £16,454.40; and
- (d) for later periods from £16,454.40 to £16,475.28,
§ 4.3 a.m.
§ Mr. Bob Cryer (Keighley)
The salaries with which the motions deal appear grotesque to the average worker in this country, where average earnings are of the order of £40 a week. If we are to set an example, I believe that one area where a sacrifice can be made is in the so-called top salaries.
When the ordinary person sees us approving such a salary, even though the increases are not enormous in relation to the salary, he looks askance at that level of income. People are led to believe that there is a section of the community that is very well off and a vast proportion of the community that is not so well off and, therefore, has to organise and battle to secure a modest increase in income. On such occasions when salaries of this level are being bandied about, one should protest and say that one example to the rest of the nation would be by salaries of this range being kept at least to their existing level, if not curtailed. Only in this way can we persuade the rest of the nation that there is a genuine attempt to redistribute wealth.
I believe that the Government are making, a genuine effort to redistribute 747 wealth, and I hope that they will continue on that path for a much longer period, but it would be nice to think that the élitist group of people were prepared to make sacrifices as well.
§ Question put and agreed to.
That the rate of the salary which may be granted to the Comptoller and Auditor General under section 1 of the Exchequer and Audit Departments Act 1957 be increased—