HC Deb 29 January 1979 vol 961 c341W
Mr. Churchill

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what steps the Government take to monitor the outcome of productivity deals under their pay policy and, in the case of the miners' 36½ per cent. 1978 pay award, what proportion of this award was in respect of productivity; and what has been the percentage increase in output per man in the last six months for which figures are available compared to the equivalent period in 1977.

Mr. Harold Walker

The provision in the White Paper "Winning the Battle Against Inflation" (Cmnd 7293) for self-financing productivity schemes makes clear that schemes must be demonstrated to be self-financing before any payments are made and that payments should continue only if regular checks confirm that the scheme is still self-financing. It is the responsibility of the negotiators to ensure that these conditions are met.

The new earnings surveys show that between April 1977 and April 1978 there was an increase in the average weekly earnings of all full-time manual men aged 21 and over employed in the coal-mining industry—excluding overtime and the effects of absence—of £19.4–28.2 per cent. There was an increase of £11.5 in the payment by results element and the National Coal Board advises that this can be attributed to its productivity scheme. It also advises that the output per man shift in the 41 weeks since the start of the financial year shows an increase overall of 4 per cent. and at the face of 10.5 per cent., compared with the corresponding period in the previous year. For the last 13 weeks the increase was 6 per cent. overall and 11.5 per cent. at the face. The National Coal Board considers that these results are better than they appear since the earlier downward trend in productivity prior to the introduction of the scheme has been reversed.