§ Mr. Eldon Griffiths
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many convicts who undertake paid work in Her Majesty's prisons have received pay increases of up to 17 per cent. over 215W the past year ; when this increase became payable ; on what grounds he sanctioned it ; whether increases of this scale are within the Government's current guidelines for public sector pay rises ; and what percentage increases have been paid over the past year to prison staff guarding the prisoners concerned.
§ Mr. John:
An increase in the amounts payable to most prisoners came into operation on 3rd October and was the first for 12 months. It was based entirely on price rises related to the items, including tobacco and postage stamps, on sale to prisoners. These payments to prisoners which, as now increased, average about £1.05 a week, are not related to outside wage levels for which the Government's guidelines for pay rises were formulated. Prison staff have received, since 1st April 1977, the maximum pay settlement permissible under the second phase of the Government's incomes policy, calculated at 5 per cent. of total earnings for all hours worked, subject to a minimum of £2.50 and a maximum of £4 a week.