HC Deb 07 February 1983 vol 36 c621
12. Mr. D. E. Thomas

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what was the total number employed by the Forestry Commission in Wales in 1960, 1970, 1980 and at the latest date for which figures are available.

Mr. Nicholas Edwards

In 1960 the number of employees was 3,410; in 1970 - 1,809; in 1980 - 1,350 and at the end of January 1983 - 1,195.

Mr. Thomas

Does the Secretary of State accept that the cash limits policy being imposed by his Government on the Forestry Commission is now leading to a substantial reduction in the living standard of forestry workers? Will he confirm that the Treasury has told the Forestry Commission that there will have to be a pay rise of under 3 per cent. to forestry workers in the next financial year?

Mr. Edwards

I cannot agree with the hon. Gentleman. There has always been a relationship between the pay of forestry workers and that of farm workers, but account must also be taken of the pension and other associated benefits that are available to forestry workers. These were taken into account in the recent round of pay negotiations and will no doubt be taken into account in the next round.