asked the President of the Board of Trade what is the average weekly pay of the watchers in the coastguard service; whether they lose any pay if off duty for sickness; whether the service is pensionable; and whether they are subject to cuts in pay on account of the cost-of-living figures?
The present average weekly pay of coastguardsmen including cost-of-living bonus is 48s. 1d. and of station officers 54s. 7d. In addition they receive free unfurnished quarters and uniform clothing. Special allowances, varying from 4s. to 10s. per week are also paid at certain isolated stations, and senior coastguardsmen at all stations without a station officer receive an allowance of 1s. per week, plus bonus. During sickness, station officers and coastguardsmen in common with other minor grades in the Civil Service, after a qualifying period of 12 months' service, receive two-thirds pay and bonus, less the amount of sickness benefit for which they are normally eligible under the National Health Insurance Acts. Sick pay is issued for absences of six weeks in the aggregate during any period of 12 months. Service in the coastguard is not pensionable and the pay is subject to the normal variations of bonus applicable to civil servants.
Will my right hon. Friend consider, in view of the nature of this service, doing something to prevent bonus cuts being made in the case of this loyal body of servants of the Crown?