HC Deb 23 April 1987 vol 114 cc654-5W
Mr. Leigh

asked the Prime Minister if she will make a statement on the latest reports of the pay review bodies.

The Prime Minister

The 1987 reports of the Review Bodies on the pay of Nursing Staff, Midwives, Health Visitors and Professions Allied to Medicine, Doctors and Dentists, and the Armed Forces, and of the Top Salaries Review Body, have been published today. Copies are now available in the Vote office. The Government are grateful to members of the review bodies for these reports and the time and care which they have put into their preparation.

The following table shows the increases in pay rates recommended by the review bodies and their cost:

Review body Average increase Per cent. Range of increase Per cent. Cost1 £ million
Nurses, midwives and health visitors 9.50 5.00–12.70 447
Professions allied to medicine 9.10 6.00–12.60 39
Doctors and dentists 7.70 7.00–8.25 230
Armed forces 5.96 4.00–7.00 200
Top salaries 4.80 4.60–5.20 4
1 Including employers' national insurance and superannuation contributions where appropriate.

The Government have decided that the increases recommended by the review bodies, with the exception of those recommended by the Top Salaries Review Body, should be implemented in full with effect from 1 April 1987. The TSRB recommendations will be implemented as to 4.25 per cent. from 1 April 1987, with the balance from 1 October 1987, reflecting the offers made to civil servants in grades just below those covered by the recommendations.

The cost of the awards this year for the AFPRB and TSRB groups will be met from within existing public expenditure programme totals. In the case of the health services, however, the Government recognise that the full costs could not be accommodated within existing provisions without adversely affecting services to patients. The Government have therefore decided to provide an extra £328 million for health authority cash limits from the reserve for this year. Of the remaining cost, £248 million is already fully covered within the allocations made for this year, leaving a balance of £30 million to be covered from cost improvements, including the beneficial effects of the pay award in retaining nursing staff and reducing the use of agency nurses. The Government have similarly decided to provide an additional £68 million to the family practitioner services from the reserve for this year.

The pay rates and scales resulting from the decisions will be promulgated as soon as possible for all the groups concerned. Pensions will be based on the salaries actually in payment in accordance with the principle set out in my written answer of 13 April 1984, at column 383.

I am today announcing separately the Government's decision to proceed with the scheme for discretionary pay at Civil Service grades 2 and 3, on which there has recently been extensive consultation, as part of the Government's policy that there should be a strengthening of the link between pay and performanc at all levels within the Civil Service. It is expected that discretionary pay increases will be in effect as from 1 October 1987, at the rates recommended by the TSRB.