Members' Pay

Oral Answers to Questions — House of Commons – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 11th June 1979.

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Photo of Peter Bottomley Peter Bottomley , Greenwich Woolwich West 12:00 am, 11th June 1979

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will make a statement on hon. Members' remuneration.

Photo of Mr Norman St John-Stevas Mr Norman St John-Stevas , Chelmsford

The report on Members' pay from the review body on top salaries is imminent, but has not yet actually been received.

Photo of Peter Bottomley Peter Bottomley , Greenwich Woolwich West

May I declare a formal interest in this question? Will my right hon. Friend give the House an early opportunity to restore hon. Members' salaries to the level that obtained in October 1964?

Photo of Mr Norman St John-Stevas Mr Norman St John-Stevas , Chelmsford

I sympathise with my hon. Friend, but I cannot make a comment until we have seen the report.

Photo of Mr John Stokes Mr John Stokes , Halesowen and Stourbridge

Since any increase in salaries for hon. Members is bound to be extremely unpopular with the British public, will my right hon. Friend ensure that an announcement about increases is made as soon as possible?

Photo of Mr Norman St John-Stevas Mr Norman St John-Stevas , Chelmsford

I do not know whether I accept the premise of my hon. Friend's argument. I do not see how his conclusion flows from it. Certainly we shall take action when we have received the report.

Photo of Mr Charles Morrison Mr Charles Morrison , Devizes

Will my right hon. Friend undertake that the House will be allowed to consider the report and to influence the Government if necessary before they come to conclusions about the recommendations in the report?

Photo of Mr Norman St John-Stevas Mr Norman St John-Stevas , Chelmsford

I shall consider that suggestion.

Photo of Mr Mike Thomas Mr Mike Thomas , Newcastle upon Tyne East

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there will be a wide measure of support from all sides of the House for remunerating hon. Members properly, and wide support for him if he takes that step when the time comes?

Photo of Mr Norman St John-Stevas Mr Norman St John-Stevas , Chelmsford

I am grateful for those remarks.