HC Deb 26 July 1983 vol 46 c1150 10.21 pm
The Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the House of Commons (Mr. John Biffen)

I beg to move, That the draft Ministerial and other Salaries Order 1983, which was laid before this House on 21st July, be approved. I explained on 19 July that the Government would wish to reconsider the matter of Ministers' pay if their proposals for the salaries of hon. Members were not accepted by the House. The details of the Government's new proposals on the salaries of Ministers and other office holders up to the end of 1987 were set out in the written answer that I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Solihull (Mr. Taylor) on 21 July.

With effect from the date when the order is approved, the increase for all Cabinet Ministers will be 4 per cent., save in the case of the Lord Chancellor where a special arrangement has been made. The increase for all Ministers of State will be 4.7 per cent. Other office holders in both Houses will receive increases of either 4.7 per cent. or 5.4 per cent. The average increase for all Ministers and office holders will be 4.7 per cent.

These proposals take account of the need to sustain differentials, in the light of the opinion which the House expressed on Members' pay. Thereafter, on 1 January each year, beginning in 1984 and continuing to 1 January 1987, all Ministers and office holders in both Houses will receive precisely the same percentage increase in their salaries as proposed for hon. Members under the resolution adopted on 19 July. In contrast, however, no arrangements have been made for setting the pay of Ministers and other office holders from 1 January 1988. A further decision will be needed at an appropriate time. Meanwhile, I commend these proposals to the House.

10.23 pm
Mr. John McWilliam (Blaydon)

It is not my intention to divide the House tonight. I thank the Leader of the House for his Statement, which I welcome. It would be hypocritical of me not to say that I think that Ministers are entitled to all that the Plowden report said they were entitled to, just as I believe that hon. Members are entitled to that. Notwithstanding that, I welcome the right hon. Gentleman's statement.

10.24 pm
Mr. Norman St. John-Stevas (Chelmsford)

I echo what has been said by the hon. Member for Blaydon (Mr. McWilliam) only perhaps rather more enthusiastically and I congratulate my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House on the expeditious way in which he has noted the will of the House. That is further evidence of what an excellent Leader of the House he is.

10.25 pm
Mr. Edward du Cann (Taunton)

I rise only to express to my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House my gratitude to him for his having kept his word. I am sure that I am not alone on the Conservative Benches, or indeed on any Benches in the House, in expressing my appreciation.

Mr. Biffen

Thank you, one and all.

Question put and agreed to.