Clause 13

Part of Budget Responsibility and National Audit Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 1:45 pm on 3 March 2011.

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Photo of Justine Greening Justine Greening The Economic Secretary to the Treasury 1:45, 3 March 2011

The rate that has been set is one that has been agreed by all parties. The hon. Gentleman wanted to link the salary rate of the CAG to that of permanent secretaries. Permanent secretaries receive between a minimum of £140,000 and a maximum of £273,000, which is clearly a wide range. He makes a good point on salary levels, which is one reason I made the point to him that maybe over time, as we get incoming permanent secretaries, that range will narrow.

It is right to have transparency. The hon. Gentleman asked about publishing details, but I think that he would recognise that this Government have pushed Whitehall and local government to publish more details about spend. I hope that at some point in the future he will be able to encourage his local council, Nottingham, which is the only one in the country that refuses to publish details of its spend, to do so.

On broader CAG spend, that is published regularly on the NAO website, as are the expenses of senior officials. I think those are published half-yearly, so there is transparency there, and I urge the hon. Gentleman to achieve that transparency with his local council too, because it is important, as he points out. Maybe it will be prepared to publish all those details on a monthly basis—we will see if he has the powers of persuasion to get it to do that over the coming weeks.

I have probably answered many of the hon. Gentleman’s questions. Subsection (4) provides for the CAG to continue to be eligible for a civil service pension, although we have heard that the incumbent has elected not to. Subsection (6) allows the Treasury to make regulations for purposes that are supplementary to any agreed pension arrangement.