HL Deb 20 December 1988 vol 502 cc1316-7

7.26 p.m.

Lord Belstead rose to move, That the draft order laid before the House on 8th December be approved [3rd Report from the Joint Committee].

The noble Lord said: My Lords, as your Lordships may know, under the terms of the resolution of another place of 21st July 1987, parliamentary salaries of Members of Parliament will increase on 1st January 1989 in line with Civil Service rates for senior principals. The draft order which I laid in the House on 8th December determines the revised salaries proposed for Ministers and paid office holders from the same date. In a Written Answer which I gave to the House on Thursday 8th December I set out in detail all the changes which we envisage. The average increase in salaries in this House will be a little over 6 per cent., and 4 per cent. in another place. The average for the proposed package for both Houses as a whole is 4½ per cent.

In this House we propose that Ministers and paid office holders should receive a cash increase of £1,559 in their official salaries. This is the same cash increase as Members of Parliament will receive in their salaries. But to narrow the salary differential that exists between Ministers and paid office holders in this House and those in the House of Commons, we propose that Lords' Ministers of State and Lords' Parliamentary Under-Secretaries should receive an additional £800 and £400 a year respectively. We also propose that Lords in Waiting should receive an additional £200. Those paid office holders whose salaries are linked to ministerial pay will also receive these additional increases.

In the Commons all Ministers and paid office holders will receive an increase of £322 with the increase in their reduced parliamentary salary of £1,237. This gives them a total increase of £1,559 like Members of Parliament. As in the Lords it is proposed that the junior Lords Commissioners of Her Majesty's Treasury—in other words, the junior Government Whips—should receive a further £200 on their increase. These increases represent an average increase for Ministers and paid office holders in both Houses of 4½ per cent. I commend the order to the House.

Moved, That the draft order laid before the House on 8th December be approved [3rd Report from the Joint Committee].—(Lord Belstead.)

Lord Ponsonby of Shulbrede

My Lords, I thank the Leader of the House for explaining so clearly the formula which has been used to calculate these increases. As those who have studied the Written Answer he gave in the Official Report on 8th December will have noticed, the increases range from 0.7 per cent. for the Prime Minister—being the lowest increase—to 6.87 per cent. for junior Government Whips in this House; as well, I may say, as for the Opposition Chief Whip. But, as he pointed out, the average is 4.5 per cent. overall.

We should say from this side of the House that we are glad the noble Lord has managed to maintain the position of Lords Ministers and to see that those Ministers in the House of Lords are not in a sense penalised by not having a parliamentary salary behind them, as of couse is the case with Ministers in another place.

I do not think that it is necessary to go into any further details on the matter, but I should like to thank the noble Lord again for explaining the order.

On Question, Motion agreed to.