Clause 13

Part of Budget Responsibility and National Audit Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:00 pm on 3 March 2011.

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Photo of Chris Leslie Chris Leslie Shadow Minister (Treasury) 2:00, 3 March 2011

I shall not rise to the bait thrown before me about Nottingham city council. Obviously I do not run it; nor is it featured in the Bill as far as I can see. I have no problem with transparency in public funds; I only wish that Government Departments would also publish all spending above £500 online, but they will not. I think about £25,000 is as far as they have come down.

I do not want to labour the point about the salary of the CAG, because obviously we can come back to this at another time, but it seems unusual for this Administration—having made such a great fanfare about tackling high salaries in the public sector—to be actively legislating, but not taking the opportunity to do something about high salaries when they are before us in the clause. The Minister did not say whether she was content with this particular salary level, so I am none the wiser as to whether the Chancellor is going to haul the CAG before him. He seemed to suggest before and after the general election that he would do that before he granted permission for any public office to have a salary higher than the Prime Minister’s. We will wait and see whether the CAG will have to come and account to the Chancellor because he is to be paid more than £142,000. Obviously the Chancellor has some say in the remuneration arrangements. However, while we may return to this matter at a later date, I think we have debated it sufficiently.