§ Mr. Lomas
asked the Lord President of the Council (1) when he expects the Top Salaries Review Body to commence work on the question of severance pay for hon. Members, who have not been defeated, but who are retiring for personal or health reasons after serving five, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, and 20 years, respectively;
(2) if he will introduce any recommendations to the House that are received from the Top Salaries Review Body before the next General Election.
§ Mr. Foot
As foreshadowed in the statement made by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary to the Privy Council Office on 28th July—[Vol. 954, c. 2026]—the Review Body on Top Salaries has been invited to undertake a review of parliamentary pay and allowances. The terms of reference are:—To review and make recommendations on:—
- (a) the level of salary of Members of the House of Commons, including the question of a salary linkage;
- (b) the arrangements for severance pay for Members of the House of Commons;
- (c) the scope and level of the Members' Secretarial allowance, with reference to the question of providing severance pay and pensions for secretaries;
- (d) the level of salary of Ministers and other office-holders;
- (e) the pension position of former Members of the House of Commons who left the House before 2nd August 1978;
- (f) the rates of Peers Expense Allowance;
- (g) the scope for the level of an allowance towards the cost of running constituency "surgeries";
- (h) the scope for and level of an allowance for travelling and subsistence for Peers' and Members of the House of Commons' spouses to attend official functions."
The Review Body is aware of the urgency behind the reference, and the Government will make every effort to complete its consideration of any recommendations received and bring them before the House as quickly as possible.