HC Deb 26 November 1920 vol 135 cc810-1W

asked the Minister of Pensions whether he is aware that the effect of the application of the Civil Service scales of bonuses to the higher salaried officials of quasi-public authorities, some of whom are dependent upon a rate to make up a deficiency of income, has been to add to a salary of £1,000 the sum of £648 19s. 2d., to a salary of £1,100 a bonus of £702 2s. 6d., and to a salary of £1,200 the sum of £750; and whether he will take into consideration the grievous additional burdens which are imposed on the public by the addition of a pro rata bonus to these larger salaries before adopting any further scale which may be issued?


I am not clear what class of authorities the hon. and learned Member has in mind, but I would point out that the question, as at present stated, does not appear to be one that concerns my Department.


asked the Minister of Health whether he has considered the effect upon the heavy ratable burdens which has resulted from the application of the successive Civil Service bonus awards to the staffs of county, local, and other public authorities; whether, in view of the oppressive and well-nigh insupportable rates which are now being levied, he will consider the desirability of limiting the payment of these bonuses to salaries which do not exceed anually the sum of £750; and will he state the reason for the action of his Department in issuing circulars to quasi-public authorities not under the control of his Ministry urging them to adopt the successive Civil Service scales and so disturbing the relations between such bodies and their staffs, and more especially when the incomes of such bodies are insufficient to bear the additional burden which the scales impose?


Representations were made generally to local authorities from their employés in favour of increases of emolument to meet increases in the cost of living. The local authorities applied to the Local Government Board and subsequently to the Minister of Health for information as to the action taken on similar applications by the Government. It appeared that the action of local authorities varied materially, and that serious difficulties resulted from this. The policy adopted by the Department has been to make known to local authorities the decisions of the Government in regard to Civil Servants and to say that so far as the sanction of the Department is required sanction will be given for analogous action by local authorities. As the hon. and learned Gentleman is no doubt aware increase of salaries is by no means the only cause of increases in rates, and while I fully share his apprehensions on the subject I do not think the precise suggestion which he makes as to limiting salaries in respect of which bonus would be paid is a reasonable one.