HC Deb 10 March 1986 vol 93 c661
44. Mr. Soley

asked the Lord Privy Seal how many hon. Members have deductions made from their salary by the Fees Office and transferred to their secretarial allowance.

Mr. Biffen

Twenty, as at 28 February.

Mr. Soley

Is the Leader of the House very surprised by that high figure? Does he not think that there is a strong case, given the fact that many people have been encouraged here, quite rightly, to use the high technology that is now available, that the research allowances do not allow them to cover for that? When will the right hon. Gentleman do something to put that right?

Mr. Biffen

I congratulate the hon. Gentleman on an ingenious way of putting to me more or less the same question as he tabled to me on this matter some months ago. I have to tell him that the answer, although the question was charmingly different, is depressingly the same. Provision will be made for a review of the secretarial and officers research allowance this summer. The outcome of that review will be a matter for the consideration of the House.

Mr. Michael Morris

Does not my right hon. Friend's answer not show that just under 4 per cent. of hon. Members cannot cope?

Mr. Biffen

On the whole, it is my job to be generous rather than ungenerous in my interpretation of such information.

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