HL Deb 29 July 1975 vol 363 cc891-3

My Lords, I beg to move the Motion standing in my name on the Order Paper, which gives effect to Statements which I made in your Lordships' House on 16th and 24th July.

Moved, That this House approves—

  1. the raising from £11.50 to £13.50, with effect from 13th June 1975, of the limit upon the daily allowance payable to Lords attending sittings of this House or of Committees of this House;
  2. the following alteration in the arrangements for allowances available to Members of this House under the Resolutions of 11th November 1970 and 20th January 1972—
    1. (a) the rate of the supplementary London allowance (£228 a year under the Resolution of 20th July 1972, as amended) to be £340 a year in respect of periods beginning on or after 13th June 1975, but as and when thereafter any change is made in the Civil Service rate of Inner London weighting, the rate of the allowance payable to Members of this House entitled to the allowance to correspond to that Civil Service rate, omitting the 892 element in it which represents the cost of travel to work;
    2. (b) the car mileage allowance (7.7 pence per mile under the Resolution of 11th November 1970, as amended) to be 10.2 pence per mile for journeys commenced on or after 13th June 1975, but as from when the corresponding Civil Service rate is next altered thereafter, the allowance for Members of this House to be the same as that corresponding rate (which is the rate for cars over 1,750 c.c. used for journeys on official business).—(Lord Shepherd.)


My Lords, while expressing my pleasure at the increase in the allowances, may I ask my noble friend to say why this should have been backdated and what in this context is the significance of the date 13th June?


My Lords, the significance of this date is that the Government undertook to fulfill the Boyle recommendations on the date on which the Report was made available. When we considered the interim award of the Boyle Committee, we felt it would be right that it would operate from the same date as the recommendations for another place, and that is the reason for the date 13th June.

The Earl of SELKIRK

My Lords, may I draw the noble Lord's attention to the supplementary London allowance referred to in paragraph (2)(a)? This is a matter which does not affect this House very much, but is it intended that this should be a permanent feature of our life? London was created by people coming here because they wanted better employment and better wages. The result has been congestion and enormous sums of money have been spent on decanting people out of London. Are we wise to have a supplementary allowance to encourage people to come back here? Is it intended that this should be a permanent feature of all forms of remuneration for Government service in London? Is it not something that should be dispensed with at the earliest possible date?


I suggest that this is an issue which goes a great deal wider than the Motion which is before the House. I believe this matter was reviewed as recently as last year, and the view then was that the weighting allowance should apply not only in the public service but in local authorities and, in some cases, in private industry. It is a recognition that there are special factors related to working in London. Whether or not that is right is a matter for debate, but it does not arise on the Motion which is now before the House.

On Question, Motion agreed to.