5. (1) In the entry beginning 'Boundary Commissioner or Assistant Boundary Commissioner', for 'Assistant Boundary Commissioner' there shall be substituted 'Assistant Commissioner'.
(2) In the entry 'Chairman of the Police Authority for Northern Ireland', after 'Chairman' there shall be inserted 'or Vice-Chairman'.
(3) For the entry beginning 'Chairman of any of the Post Users' Councils' there shall be substituted—'Chairman of the Post Office Users' National Council.'.
(4) in the entry 'Chairman of the Prescription Pricing Agency', for 'Agency' there shall be substituted 'Authority'.
(5) In the entry 'Director of British Telecommunications plc appointed by a Minister of the Crown or government department', after 'plc' there shall be inserted 'nominated or'.
(6) In the entry 'Member appointed by a Minister of the Crown of the Agricultural Wages Board for England and Wales or of an agricultural wages committee established under the Agricultural Wages Act 1948, or chairman of such a committee' the words from 'or of an agricultural wages committee' onwards shall be omitted.—[Mr. Luce.]11.44 pm
§ Mr. Alan Williams (Swansea, West)
It is typical that such a controversial measure should be moved at this time of night without any explanation. I should like to ask the Minister a probing question. Why is the uprating in relation to income levels linked on this occasion to earnings rather than to the cost of living? Is that the normal practice, or is it an innovation? If the latter, what is the justification?
§ The Minister of State, Privy Council Office (Mr. Richard Luce)
I appreciate that question. As the right hon. Gentleman knows, when the Act was adopted in 1957 we started with a level of £500. That has been adjusted 893 from time to time. The broad indicator has been the adjustment in line with the earnings index. Therefore, I thought it right that since the last sum was set at £4,000 in 1983 we should take into account the earnings index in that time scale. I have acted consistently with previous Governments' policies and followed that particular indicator.
§ Question put and agreed to.