HC Deb 24 February 1983 vol 37 cc526-7W
46. Mr. Nelson

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the proposed level of the contingency reserve for 1983–84 includes any provision for financing pay settlements in the public sector and the armed forces.

Mr. Brittan

The contingency reserve is a control on policy decisions having the effect of increasing public expenditure taken during the course of the year. It is not earmarked in advance for particular items. The expenditure plans for programmes, as set out in the 1983 public expenditure White Paper, Cmnd. 8789, already make provision for new pay settlements in 1983–84. As announced on 1 October, provision has been made for increases in wages and salaries bills of 3.5 per cent. from due settlement dates for the armed forces, the Civil Service and certain other groups. Provision has been made for the National Health Service consistent with the settlements now reached covering both 1982–83 and 1983–84.