HL Deb 12 May 1983 vol 442 cc702-3WA
Lord Drumalbyn

asked Her Majesty's Government:

If they will make a statement on the Reports of the Review Bodies on the Pay of the Armed Forces, the Doctors and Dentists and Top Salaries.

Baroness Young

The reports of the Armed Forces Pay Review Body, the Doctors' and Dentists' Review Body and the Top Salaries Review Body on certain top salary groups and on parliamentary pay and allowances have been laid before the House today and will be published as Command Papers shortly. Copies are now available in the Printed Paper Office. The Government are grateful to the members of the review bodies for these reports and for the time and care which they have put into their preparation.

The report of the Armed Forces Pay Review Body recommends new rates of pay for Servicemen and women applicable from 1st April 1983 which will add 7. 2 per cent. to the estimated pay bill for 1983–84. The Government accept the report, and the necessary steps to implement the new rates of pay, and inform servicemen of the details of the report, will be taken as soon as possible.

The report of the Doctors' and Dentists' Review Body recommends with effect from 1st April 1983 increases in the pay of doctors and dentists which the review body estimate would add 6 per cent. to the pay bill over and above the costs of implementing in full their recommendations for 1st April 1982; in addition they recommend changes in certain supplementary payments to take account of the hours worked by junior hospital doctors and dentists, which will add a further I per cent. to the total pay bill.

The House will recall that since 1981 there has been an abatement of the review body's recommendations for doctors and dentists which now amounts to 2.7 per cent. of the pay bill. The review body have strongly urged that this abatement should now be made good. The Government accept the recommended increases for this year with effect from 1st April 1983. They propose to make good the abatement with effect from 1st January 1984. The scales and rates resulting from these decisions will be promulgated as soon as possible.

The two reports from the Top Salaries Review Body, one dealing with the salaries of the higher Civil Service, senior officers in the armed forces and the judiciary, and the other dealing with the salaries of Members of Parliament and of Ministers and other office holders and parliamentary allowances, will be for consideration after the election.

So far as the proposed salaries for Cabinet Ministers are concerned, members of the Cabinet take the view that the increases proposed are of a magnitude which they could not possibly accept, and trust that Members of Parliament will take a similar view about recommendations affecting their own salaries. The Government believe that any decisions which are reached in the new Parliament about resettlement arrangements should apply also to Members of the present Parliament in relation to their present salaries. The Government acknowledge the need to consult opinion widely before the House reaches a conclusion on the recommendations.