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Members of Parliament (Salaries)

– in the House of Commons at 10:25 pm on 26th July 1983.

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Photo of Mr John Biffen Mr John Biffen , North Shropshire 10:25 pm, 26th July 1983

I beg to move, That the following provision about salaries of Members of this House be made—;(1) The salaries of Members of each of the descriptions in column 1 of the following Table—;(a) in respect of service on and after 13th June 1983 and before 1st January 1984 shall be at the yearly rate specified in relation to that description in column 2 of that Table;

TABLE
123456
Description of MemberYearly rate of salary from 13th June 1983 to end of 1983Yearly rate of salary for 1984Yearly rate of salary for 1985Yearly rate of salary for 1986Yearly rate of salary for 1987
£££££
1. Member not within paragraph 215,30816,10616,90417,70218,500
2. Officer of this House or Member receiving a salary under the Ministerial and other Salaries Act 1975 or a pension under section 26 of the Parliamentary and other Pensions Act 19729,54310,62611,70912,79213,875

(2) Subject to paragraph (3), in respect of service on and after 1st January 1988—;(a) the salaries of Members not falling within sub-paragraph (b) shall be at a yearly rate equal to eighty-nine per cent. of the rate which represents the maximum point from time to time on the main national pay scale of the Civil Service grade of Senior Principal or, is such a scale ceases to exist, on the scale which supersedes it; and(b) the salaries of Officers of this House and Members receiving a salary under the Ministerial and other Salaries Act 1975 or a pension under section 26 of the Parliamentary and other Pensions Act 1972 shall be at a yearly rate equal to sixty-seven per cent. of the rate which represents the maximum point from time to time on the scale referred to in sub-paragraph (a).(3) Paragraph (2) shall not authorise the making of any payment out of public funds after the end of the period of three months beginning with the day on which any future Parliament first meets unless within that period the continued operation of that paragraph is approved by a Resolution of this House.

I gave the House an undertaking on 19 July that the Government would bring in a new effective resolution which would reflect the expression of opinion of the House on the matter of Members' salaries. That is what the motion now before the House sets out of do.

The effect of the resolution adopted by the House on 19 July was to increase Members' pay by five equal stages between 13 June 1983 and 1 January 1987, at which point the salary will be £18,500. From 1 January 1988 Members' pay will be set at the level then payable to a civil servant in receipt of £18,500 per annum on 13 June 1983.

In seeking to implement the will of the House we had to take account of the fact that on 13 June 1983 no civil servant will be earning precisely £18,500 per annum. That explains the formulation used in the motion. It links the pay of Members to 89 per cent. of the maximum of the pay scale of the senior principal grade which spans £18,500. That gives the figure of just over £18,500.

(b) in respect of service on and after 1st January 1984 and before 1st January 1985 shall be at the yearly rate specified in relation to that description in column 3 of that Table;(c) in respect of service on and after 1st January 1985 and before 1st January 1986 shall be at the yearly rate specified in relation to that description in column 4 of that Table;(d) in respect of service on and after 1st January 1986 and before 1st January 1987 shall be at the yearly rate specified in relation to that description in column 5 of that Table; and(e) in respect of service on and after 1st January 1987 and before 1st January 1988 shall be at the yearly rate specified in relation to that description in column 6 of that Table.

For Ministers and other office holders the effective resolution will implement the will of the House that in future the parliamentary element in the salaries of Ministers and office holders should move, by five equal stages, until it reaches 75 per cent. of the Back-Bench Members' salary on 1 January 1987.

The parliamentary salaries proposed for Members on the one hand and for ministerial and other office holders on the other are set out in the motion. Thus the Government have kept their promise to bring in a revised effective resolution designed to implement the will of the House as expressed on 19 July, and I commend its acceptance.

Photo of Mr John McWilliam Mr John McWilliam , Blaydon

I again welcome the statement of the Leader of the House. It is no secret that Labour Members, and indeed many others, felt that it would have been advisable to implement the Plowden committee's report. The House made its will known last week, and I commend the Leader of the House for enshrining that will entirely within that resolution and thank him for it.

Photo of Mr Hugh Fraser Mr Hugh Fraser , Stafford 10:27 pm, 26th July 1983

I congratulate my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House on this Byzantine calculation which fully meets the will of the House.

Question put:—;

The House divided: Ayes 250, Noes 18.

Division No. 43][10.28 pm
AYES
Aitken JonathanAtkins Robert (South Ribble)
Alexander, RichardBaker, Nicholas (N Dorset)
Alison, Rt Hon MichaelBaldry, Anthony
Amess, DavidBatiste, Spencer
Arnold, TomBeith, A. J.
Atkins, Rt Hon Sir H.Bellingham, Henry
Berry, Sir AnthonyGrylls, Michael
Best, KeithGummer, John Selwyn
Biffen, Rt Hon JohnHamilton, Hon A. (Epsom)
Blackburn, JohnHamilton, Neil (Tatton)
Bonsor, Sir NicholasHampson, Dr Keith
Boothroyd, Miss BettyHanley, Jeremy
Boscawen, Hon RobertHardy, Peter
Bottomley, PeterHargreaves, Kenneth
Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich)Harvey, Robert
Boyson, Dr RhodesHavers, Rt Hon Sir Michael
Braine, Sir BernardHawkins, Sir Paul (SW N'folk)
Brandon-Bravo, MartinHawksley, Warren
Bright, GrahamHayhoe, Barney
Brown, M. (Brigg & Cl'thpes)Hayward, Robert
Brown, R. (N'c'tle-u-Tyne N)Heddle, John
Bruinvels, PeterHeseltine, Rt Hon Michael
Bryan, Sir PaulHickmet, Richard
Burt, AlistairHiggins, Rt Hon Terence L.
Butterfill, JohnHirst, Michael
Carlisle, John (N Luton)Holt, Richard
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)Home Robertson, John
Carttiss, MichaelHooson, Tom
Cartwright, JohnHoward, Michael
Chalker, Mrs LyndaHowarth, Gerald (Cannock)
Channon, Rt Hon PaulHowell, Ralph (N Norfolk)
Chapman, SydneyHowells, Geraint
Clark, Hon A. (Plym'th S'n)Hubbard-Miles, Peter
Clark, Dr David (S Shields)Hughes, Mark (Durham)
Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford)Hughes, S mon (Southwark)
Clarke Kenneth (Rushcliffe)Hunt, David (Wirral)
Clegg, Sir WalterHunt, John (Ravensbourne)
Colvin, MichaelHunter, Andrew
Concannon, Rt Hon J, D.Jackson, Robert
Conlan, BernardJenkin, Rt Hon Patrick
Conway, DerekJessel, Toby
Coombs, SimonJohn, Brynmor
Cope, JohnJones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)
Couchman, JamesJones, Robert (W Herts)
Crouch, DavidKellett-Bowman, Mrs Elaine
Currie, Mrs EdwinaKey, Robert
Dicks, T.King, Roger (B'ham N'field)
Dorrell, StephenKing, Rt Hon Tom
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord J.Knight, Gregory (Derby N)
Dover, DenshoreKnowles, Michael
du Cann, Rt Hon EdwardKnox, David
Duffy, A. E. P.Lamond, James
Dunn, RobertLang, Ian
Durant, TonyLatham, Michael
Dykes, HughLawler, Geoffrey
Edwards, Rt Hon N. (P'broke)Lawrence, Ivan
Eggar, TimLawson, Rt Hon Nigel
Evennett, DavidLeadbitter, Ted
Eyre, ReginaldLee, John (Pendle)
Favell, AnthonyLeigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh)
Forrester, JohnLennox-Boyd, Hon Mark
Forth, EricLester, Jim
Franks, CecilLewis, Sir Kenneth (Stamf'd)
Fraser, Rt Hon Sir HughLewis, Ron (Carlisle)
Fraser, Peter (Angus East)Lightbown, David
Fry, PeterLloyd, Peter, (Fareham)
Gale, RogerLord, Michael
Galley, RoyLyell, Nicholas
Garel-Jones, TristanMcCrindle, Robert
Goodlad, AlastairMcCurley, Mrs Anna
Gourlay, HarryMcDonald, Dr Oonagh
Gow, IanMacfarlane, Neil
Gower, Sir RaymondMcGuire, Michael
Grant, Sir AnthonyMacKay, Andrew (Berkshire)
Green way, HarryMacKay, John (Argyll & Bute)
Gregory, ConalMcNair-Wilson, P. (New F'st)
Griffiths, Peter (Portsm'th N)McNamara, Kevin
Ground, PatrickMcQuarrie, Albert
McWilliam, JohnRidley, Rt Hon Nicholas
Major, JohnRidsdale, Sir Julian
Malins, HumfreyRobinson, Mark (N'port W)
Malone, GeraldRoe, Mrs Marion
Maples, JohnRogers, Allan
Marland, PaulRoss, Stephen (Isle of Wight)
Marlow, AntonyRossi, Sir Hugh
Mates, MichaelRowe, Andrew
Mather, CarolRyder, Richard
Mayhew, Sir PatrickSackville, Hon Thomas
Merchant, PiersSt. John-Stevas, Rt Hon N.
Meyer, Sir AnthonySayeed, Jonathan
Millan, Rt Hon BruceShaw, Giles (Pudsey)
Miller, Hal (B'grove)Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')
Mills, Iain (Meriden)Shelton, William (Streatham)
Mills, Sir Peter (West Devon)Sims, Roger
Mitchell, David (NW Hants)Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Moate, RogerSoames, Hon Nicholas
Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)Spence, John
Morris, M. (N'hampton, S)Spencer, D.
Morrison, Hon C. (Devizes)Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)
Moynihan, Hon C.Stern, Michael
Mudd, DavidStevens, Lewis (Nuneaton)
Needham, RichardStewart, Allan (Eastwood)
Neubert, MichaelStokes, John
Newton, TonyStradling Thomas, J
Nicholls, PatrickStraw, Jack
Normanton, TomTebbit, Rt Hon Norman
Norris, StevenTerlezki, Stefan
Osborn, Sir JohnThatcher, Rt Hon Mrs M.
Ottaway, RichardThompson, Donald (Calder V)
Page, John (Harrow W)Thompson, Patrick (N'ich N)
Page, Richard (Herts SW)Townend, John (Bridlington)
Parris, MatthewTracey, Richard
Patchett, TerryTrippier, David
Patten, John (Oxford)Waddington, David
Pavitt, LaurieWakeham, Rt Hon John
Pawsey, JamesWaldegrave, Hon William
Peacock, Mrs ElizabethWardle, C. (Bexhill)
Penhaligon, DavidWigley, Dafydd
Percival, Rt Hon Sir IanWinterton, Mrs Ann
Pink, R. BonnerWinterton, Nicholas
Powley, JohnWolfson, Mark
Prentice, Rt Hon RegWood, Timothy
Price, Sir DavidYounger, Rt Hon George
Radice, Giles
Raffan, KeithTellers for the Ayes:
Redmond, M.Mr. Douglas Hogg and
Rhys Williams, Sir BrandonMr. Tim Sainsbury.
NOES
Alton, DavidMadden, Max
Ashdown, PaddyMichie, William
Barron, KevinNellist, David
Beaumont-Dark, AnthonyPatchett, Terry
Bermingham, GeraldPowell, Raymond (Ogmore)
Boyes, RolandRogers, Allan
Cohen, HarrySkinner, Dennis
Corbyn, Jeremy
Fallon, MichaelTellers for the Noes:
Fields, T. (L 'pool Broad Gn)Mr. Tony Banks and
Kilfedder, James A.Mr. Bob Clay.

Question accordingly agreed to.

Photo of Mr Bernard Weatherill Mr Bernard Weatherill , Croydon North East

Before I call upon the Leader of the House to move motion 8, I inform the House that I have selected the amendment of the right hon. Member for Worthing (Mr. Higgins).

Car Mileage Allowance
10.40 pm
Mr. Biffen: I beg to move,
That, in the opinion of this House, the rate of car mileage allowance payable to Members travelling on Parliamentary duties (and accordingly the rate applicable to the car mileage allowances payable in respect of journeys by the spouse of a Member and journeys by the persons in respect of whom the secretarial and research allowance of a Member is payable) should, for journeys commenced on or after 1st October 1983, continue to be 25·8p per mile, notwithstanding any change with effect from that date in the relevant Civil Service rate of car mileage allowance.
In this Resolution "the secretarial and research allowance" has the same meaning as in the Resolution of this House of 19th July 1983 (Office, Secretarial and Research etc. Allowances).
The purpose of the motion is to maintain the present flat rate system of the motor mileage allowance at the current rate of 25·8p a mile. The allowance is regulated by a resolution of the House that was agreed on 22 July 1975. It provides that the rate payable should be the same as the Civil Service rate for journeys made on official business. From 1 October a two-tier structure is to be introduced for the Civil Service mileage allowance, and the effect of the resolution of 22 July 1975 would be to apply the new arrangements automatically to Members. The motion will ensure that the status quo is maintained. It has been moved in response to the strong view that was expressed on 19 July. It was then argued that there should be further consideration of the Civil Service two-tier rate as an appropriate reflection of motoring costs incurred by Members.

The effect of the amendment of my right hon. Friend the Member for Worthing (Mr. Higgins) is to link the motor mileage allowance paid to hon. Members with the higher level of the two-tier rate that is now proposed for the Civil Service. It thus embodies the concept of automaticity while reflecting a concern that the Civil Service rate may rise as a result of cost increases before the House has an opportunity to consider further what the most appropriate future arrangements for Members should be.

It may help the House to know that I can accept my right hon. Friend's amendment on this basis. The Government are content that the motion, as amended, if the House approves it, should continue until such time as the House may decide on alternative arrangements in the light of the further consideration of the subject which is proposed. Meanwhile, I shall consult through the usual channels with a view to having the subject examined after the summer recess in a way that will enable Members to give evidence of their motoring costs. I stress that no change in the existing arrangements that are made secure by the motion can come about without the authority of the House.

Photo of Mr Terence Higgins Mr Terence Higgins , Worthing 10:44 pm, 26th July 1983

I beg to move, in line 6, to leave out from "mile" to the end of line 7 and insert and should reflect thereafter any change in the Civil Service rate of car mileage allowance presently set at this level.". I was taught by the late lain Macleod that if an amendment in one's name was accepted by the Government it was good manners and sound politics not to make the two-hour speech in support of the amendment that one might otherwise have made.

It is not my intention in the amendment to endorse the suggestion that the mileage allowance should be a two-tier arrangement. The arrangement which has stood us in good stead over many years is one which is much to be preferred. I was worried that my right hon. Friend's amendment would freeze the 25·8p rate at that level for, as far as one could see, all time. It is important that motoring costs incurred by hon. Members going about their legitimate business in the service of their constituents should be covered. Without my amendment, if costs go up there will not be any increase in the car mileage allowance.

The second point of my amendment is that to which my right hon. Friend referred to rather inelegantly as "automaticity". I cannot improve the description. If there are changes in costs, it is right that the changes in allowance be made automatically rather than the Leader of the House having to put down an order to increase the allowance perhaps two or three times a year. I hope that the House will bear in mind the wording of my amendment which I understand to have the effect that I have described. I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for proposing, to accept it.

Photo of Mr Jack Dormand Mr Jack Dormand , Easington 10:45 pm, 26th July 1983

Perhaps I might speak as a simple layman on behalf of my hon. Friends about what the Leader of the House is accepting. My understanding, from informal discussions today, is that the linkage of the car mileage allowance applies only to the period in which the Leader of the House is considering a new scale or structure. If that is so—;I am happy to be contradicted—;following the results of the inquiry with which the Leader of the House dealt so flexibly in the main debate, there might be a new structure that might include a two-tier system. I and at least some of my hon. Friends want to be absolutely clear about that.

Photo of Mr John Biffen Mr John Biffen , North Shropshire 10:46 pm, 26th July 1983

It is perfectly true that the motion as amended provides for payment of the present mileage rate of 25·8p or any subsequent alteration to the higher Civil Service rate. When discussions and considerations of an appropriate rate for the House have been concluded, the matter must be resolved by the House. There can be no question of a two-tier rate as the present arrangements will apply until the House authorises a replacement.

Photo of Mr Jack Dormand Mr Jack Dormand , Easington

Can the Leader of the House say what the Government's view will be then?

Photo of Mr John Biffen Mr John Biffen , North Shropshire

No. We shall hold the discussions through the usual channels with an open mind.

Photo of Mr John McWilliam Mr John McWilliam , Blaydon 10:48 pm, 26th July 1983

It was the clear will of the House last week that, whatever happened to mileage allowances, there must be a single-tier system. I congratulate the Leader of the House on enshrining the will of the House in the original motion. I also congratulate the right hon. Member for Worthing (Mr. Higgins) on his amendment, which takes account of what might happen. I also support my hon. Friend the Member for Easington (Mr. Dormand), in that the Leader of the House must come back to the House if there is any intention to change the system. No hon. Member is arguing about the rate. We look forward to him doing so. I think that he has given us that commitment.

Amendment agreed to.

Main Question, as amended, agreed to.

Resolved,That, in the opinion of this House, the rate of car mileage allowance payable to Members travelling on Parliamentary duties (and accordingly the rate applicable to the car mileage allowances payable in respect of journeys by the spouse of a Member and journeys by the persons in respect of whom the secretarial and research allowance of a Member is payable) should, for journeys commenced on or after 1st October 1983, continue to be 25·8p per mile, and should reflect thereafter any change in the Civil Service rate of cat mileage allowance presently set at this level.In this Resolution "the secretarial and research allowance" has the same meaning as in the Resolution of this House of 19th July 1983 (Office, Secretarial and Research etc. Allowances).