HC Deb 14 July 1975 vol 895 cc1035-7
5. Mr. Tim Renton

asked the Secretary of State for Industries whether he will table the scale of salaries and other emoluments for the Chairman and board members of the National Enterprise Board.

Mr. Kaufman

Yes, Sir, when the appointments are made.

Mr. Renton

As the Government are calling for sacrifices from the higher paid, may we be assured that neither the Chairman nor members of the NEB will start with higher salaries than Members of Parliament? Secondly, as the Secretary of State has constantly referred to the NEB as a commercial enterprise, may we be assured that its members will be paid by results so that, so far as their commercial decisions as opposed to the investments they make for social purposes are concerned, if they lose a lot of money their remuneration will be reduced accordingly?

Mr. Kaufman

The hon. Gentleman asks about comparability with the incomes of Members of Parliament. Does he mean salary or total income including other income, because there will be a great difference between the two sides of the House?

Mrs. Dunwoody

When my hon. Friend is considering the sums to be paid to these gentlemen, will he also consider carefully their commercial and political backgrounds? There is hardly any point in considering someone who has useful commercial knowledge but who is not committed to the idea of making the National Enterprise Board work.

Mr. Kaufman

It would be an absurdity to appoint to the NEB those who were not committed to its success. I know that my right hon. Friend will take fully into account what my hon. Friend has said.

Mr. Kenneth Lewis

I do not know what the Under-Secretary was talking about just now when he mentioned the "other income" of Members of Parliament. May I point out that the only other income that Members of Parliament —[HON. MEMBERS: "Question."] May I ask whether the chairman and members of the Board will have to pay their own secretaries, provide their own motor cars and travel and other expenses which go with the job, because all Members of Parliament get reimbursement—inadequate reimbursement—for what they pay out?

Mr. Kaufman

The chairman of the organising committee of the NEB, who is not being paid anything at present, is doing an excellent job at least commensurate with what he is being paid. I assure the hon. Gentleman that my hon. Friends take seriously the fact that those who call for sacrifices when it comes to the salaries of Members of Parliament often fail to take into account that some Members are full time doing a full-time job and others are not.

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