§ Mr. Wigley
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will analyse the £5¼ million increase in the salary cost of staff at the Ministry of Agriculture between the original Civil Estimates and the latest Supplementary Estimates, between the effects of (a) pay awards, (b) national insurance increases and (c) changes in staff numbers.
§ Mr. Peart
I have been asked to reply. It is assumed that the hon. Member is referring to the increase of £5,235,000 in the Central Services Vote (Class III, 7, Subhead A 1 (2)). In round terms £5 million is required for pay awards, including arrears relating to the previous financial year and £400,000 for higher earnings-related national insurance contributions but these increases are partly offset by a saving of £200,000 as a result of staff numbers being below estimate in the period since 1st April, 1975.
§ Mr. Wigley
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer why there had been an increase of almost 40 per cent. in the general allowances in Section A1(3) of Class II, 1 Supplementary Estimate, relative to home-based diplomatic and consular services, which added £500,000 to the total estimate; and if he will specify the increases in allowances which have caused this revision.
§ Mr. Ennals
I have been asked to reply.
The major item under this subhead is boarding school allowance. The addition is due entirely to an increase in this 37W allowance which has arisen partly as a result of the sharper than expected rise in the average level of boarding school fees, which determine the maximum levels of boarding school allowance; and partly because of higher rates of taxation which have led to an increase in the grossing-up element in the allowance paid to staff while in this country.