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Civil Service Compensation Scheme

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 5:00 pm on 19th March 2019.

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Photo of Oliver Dowden Oliver Dowden The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office 5:00 pm, 19th March 2019

I should say from the outset that no decision has been taken or agreed by permanent secretaries. There is a very clear process for this, which is that for delegated pay, which is that for civil servants below senior civil service level, the framework is set by the Cabinet Office in conjunction with the Treasury and then it is up to each individual Department to make individual decisions.

On the point about co-ordination, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and I want to ensure that we have a proper process of engagement with the principal trade unions as we set the delegated framework, but it is important to say that that is not a pay negotiation. We need to understand their position, but the individual pay negotiation must be done by each individual Department. I think having each Department make its individual determination is the right approach, but I am keen to ensure that we engage with the trade unions and others as we consider the overall approach to delegated pay. As I understand it, correspondence is ongoing with the trade unions on the best way of doing that.

Beyond the delegated framework, there is also potential for further efficiency savings to allow for higher pay rises. I have signed them off as a responsible Minister; for example, the Foreign Office recently agreed a two-year pay deal funded by efficiencies, allowing for a 6.4% average uplift for non-SCS staff. It is possible, through smarter ways of working, to fund higher pay awards. I hope that gives hon. Members an overall sense of the approach the Government take to pay.