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Civil Service (Equal Pay)

Volume 462: debated on Tuesday 1 March 1949

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39.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the estimated cost in the first operative year of the proposed increases in civil servants' emoluments, and how does this compare with the cost of raising the increments of women civil servants on the incremental part of the scale to the level of the men's increment, and of allowing women at the maximum of the scale to proceed to the men's maximum by equal yearly increments; also for the first operative year of such a scheme.

The Chorley Committee estimated the full cost of implementing their proposals as about £400,000 a year. The extent to which the cost in the first operative year will be less than the full cost cannot yet be estimated as I am still considering the appropriate method of gradual assimilation to the new rates. The eventual cost of the sort of scheme suggested in the second part of the Question for the gradual introduction of equal pay would be more than £10 million for the Civil Service; the cost in the first operative year would be about £2 million. It would, however, be quite impracticable to introduce such a scheme in the Civil Service alone. It would have to extend at least to the other public services which would increase the cost to some £7 million in the first year rising to an eventual total of £35 million.