HC Deb 18 January 1982 vol 16 c15
17. Mr. Murphy

asked the right hon. Member for Middlesbrough, as representing the House of Commons Commission, what fees are payable to specialist advisers appointed by Select Committees.

Mr. Arthur Bottomley

Specialist advisers are paid on a per diem fee basis—I am in difficulty as I do not have my glasses.

Mr. James Callaghan

Would my right hon. Friend like to borrow mine?

Mr. Bottomley

Thank you. They are paid on a per diem fee basis for work done. Three rates are in use, based on the scales for university posts. They are in line with payments made for similar work done for Government Departments. The current daily rates are £50 to £70 a day for professors, £40 to £50 a day for senior lecturers and readers, and £22 to £42 for lecturers.

Mr. Murphy

I thank the right hon. Gentleman for his efforts to answer my question. Would he consider applying an overall strict cash limit to avoid a proliferation of specialist advisers?

Mr. Bottomley

There is a limit to the amount of money that can be spent on specialist services.

Mr. Christopher Price

In its next deliberations, will the Commission consider getting away from the assumption that all specialist advisers are academics, such as professors? Is he aware that some of the best specialists and advisers serving on committees have nothing to do with universities, and are the better for that?

Mr. Bottomley

That appeals to me very much. When I was Minister for Overseas Development I saw craftsmen playing a part in rendering specialist services. Therefore, I am sympathetic towards that question.