Rent Assessment Committees (Fees)

Oral Answers to Questions — Housing – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 1st March 1966.

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Photo of Mr Arthur Lewis Mr Arthur Lewis , West Ham North 12:00 am, 1st March 1966

for Written Answerasked the Minister of Housing and Local Government (1) what criteria he used in fixing fees for part-time employment of 15 guineas a day for professional members, 12 guineas a day for lay members and 18 guineas a day for chairmen of the rent assessment committees;

(2) what hours the professional and lay members of the rent assessment committees will have to work to receive their respective payments of 15 guineas and 12 guineas a day; if he will give similar details with regard to the chairmen for their 18 guineas; and whether any of these amounts are tax free.

Photo of Mr Richard Crossman Mr Richard Crossman , Coventry East

I will, with permission answer this Question and Written Question No. 6 together.

The fees were fixed in recognition of the importance of the work and in relation to the rate of payment for other quasi-judicial bodies. The hours of work are not prescribed for chairmen and members of rent assessment committees. The work will normally be programmed to occupy a full day, but the precise duration of a committee session will be determined largely by the complexity of the particular references heard on that day. The fees are not tax free.

Photo of Mr Arthur Lewis Mr Arthur Lewis , West Ham North

Is the Minister aware of the fact that it is rather invidious—for busmen, for example, who cannot get a few shillings extra—to find that these people who very often have as many as four or five other sources of income can, for a relatively part-time appointment, receive such large sums? Did he consider referring this to the Prices and Incomes Board before making these appointments?

Photo of Mr Richard Crossman Mr Richard Crossman , Coventry East

I would like my hon. Friend to realise that I was under great pressure—and rightly under great pressure—to ensure that we had qualified people for the rent assessment committees, and if we are to have qualified professional people doing our work we must pay the rate for the job to the qualified people.