§ Mr. Streeter
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will set out the reasons for the disparity in remuneration between speech and language therapists and other health care professionals of similar qualification. 
§ Mr. Denham
Basic pay rates for speech and language therapists have increased by between 158 per cent. (minimum) and 170 per cent. (maximum) since 1984, more than those for any other professional staff group in the National Health Service. Qualification is one of many factors influencing decisions on pay. We published proposals to modernise the National Health Service pay system on 15 February 1999. Our aim is a pay system which gives employers effective ways of rewarding people for taking on more responsibility and developing new skills.