HC Deb 14 October 1968 vol 770 cc10-1W
Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity why the staff employed in her Department increased from 21,418 at an annual salary charge of £20,724,000 in October, 1964, to 29,425 at an annual salary charge of £33,360,000 in May, 1968; and what action she has taken or plans to take to reduce the last two figures.

Mrs. Castle

Part of the increase in staff numbers between October, 1964, and May, 1968, was occasioned by work arising from new legislation, including the Redundancy Payments Act, 1964, the Industrial Training Act, 1964, the Selective Employment Payments Act, 1966, and the National Insurance Act, 1966. In addition, local office staffs and Government Training Centres have been considerably expanded for essential work of economic and social importance.

The higher salary cost in 1968 is a reflection partly of the increased number of staff employed and partly of increases in basic rates of pay.

The staff and costs of my Department are kept under constant review in conformity with current policies including the urgent need to make the most economical use of staff.

Mr. Leadbitter

asked the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity if the recent promotion of two full-time members of the National Board for Prices and Incomes with a salary increase from £6,500 to £9,500 was a recommendation from the Board itself; on what grounds this action was taken; and whether she took into account the criteria of Her Majesty's Government's prices and incomes policy, including wage restraint and the need for increased productivity, before she consented to these promotions.

Mr. Harold Walker

My right hon. Friend made these appointments under the provisions of Section 1(4) of the Prices and Incomes Act, 1966. The appointments are consistent with the productivity, prices and incomes policy; paragraph 40 of Command 3590 provides that salary increases resulting from promotion to work at a higher level are not subject to the ceiling or the criteria for pay increases.