§ 38. Mr. Tim Renton
asked the Minister for the Civil Service whether he proposes to reactivate the Pay Research Unit in the Civil Service.
§ Mr. Charles R. Morris
I explained to the hon. Member on 6th December that reactivation of the work undertaken by the Pay Research Unit before its suspension would be dependent on the future development of national pay policy. That remains the position.
§ Mr. Renton
When will the Minister stop giving his well-known imitation of an ostrich, with his head buried firmly in the sand? Is it not true that in terms of occupational pensioners there are two nations—the inflation-proofed and the rest? Now that inflation is once again nearing the Labour norm of 20 per cent., is not this the right moment to reactivate the Pay Research Unit, as many civil servants themselves want, so that the value of inflation proofing can be established?
§ Mr. Morris
The hon. Member is quite right in saying that many civil servants want the reactivation of the Pay Research Unit—but they want it for something slightly different from what the hon. Gentleman wants. He wants the unit's reactivation merely to consider the question of pensions. If we are to reactivate the Pay Research Unit, pensions are 1008 only one element in the general remuneration and salaries that civil servants receive. The reactivation should be considered only in the context of the Government's national pay policy.