HC Deb 15 February 1978 vol 944 cc433-4
33. Mr. Fairbairn

asked the Lord Advocate what is the salary of the Scottish Law Officers and of each of the advocates-depute; and whether the latter are part-time or full-time.

The Lord Advocate

My ministerial salary is £11,000 per annum. The Solicitor-General's ministerial salary is £8,270 per annum. Advocates-depute, who are part-time, receiver £9,000 per annum.

Mr. Fairbairn

Will the Lord Advocate take steps to implement the recommendations in the Boyle Report, which deal with this matter? It is unjustifiable that the senior advocate-depute, who is the Solicitor-General and a full-time Minister, should earn a lower salary than his part-time subordinates. This has nothing to do with guideline breaching or any of the fantasies of the pay policy. Will he put right this insult to the Scottish legal system?

The Lord Advocate

I agree that the present situation is anomalous. I remind the House that, like other Ministers, the Solicitor-General's salary is based upon the Ministerial and Other Salaries Act 1975. Since 1975 the salaries of the Solicitor-General and certain other junior Ministers have been twice increased by Statutory Instrument under the Act. The gap to which the hon. and learned Gentleman referred has therefore been narrowed.

On the wider aspect of incomes policy, the Review Body on Top Salaries, in its eighth report in July 1976, recommended that the Solicitor-General should receive a higher salary. But, as the House knows, the Government are at present in no way committed to implementing that or other recommendations in the report, as the Lord President informed the House on 12th July 1976.

Mr. Rifkind

Is the Lord Advocate aware that, unfortunately, crime is the only present growth industry in Scotland? Is he satisfied that the present complement of advocates-depute is sufficient to deal with the problem?

The Lord Advocate

Yes, Sir. The complement has recently been increased by two.