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Clegg Commission Awards (Cost)

Volume 981: debated on Wednesday 26 March 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is the estimated cost during the financial year 1980–81 of awards by the Clegg Commission since its inception; and what percentage increase that figure represents on the salaries of those receiving the awards.

The following table which excludes the award for university technicians, which was of an interim nature, and the award for municipal airport manual workers, the cost of which will depend on a grading exercise still to be undertaken, gives the information requested on the basis of the standing commission's published estimates. An adjustment has been made to the published estimate for the salaried staff of the British Waterways as the final stage of the award is not to be paid until September 1980.under the regulation. The power to grant interim relief is frequently available in United Kingdom legislation.

asked the Prime Minister if she will take steps to protect United Kingdom citizens from having their homes searched by officials of the European Economic Community Commission without the authority of the courts.

Rights of entry into premises conferred on officials of the Community in connection with their duties to investigate abuses of Common Market benefits or breaches of competition rules, are linked with business, industrial or agricultural activities. I am not aware of any powers to search homes, except perhaps if they were used as a base for such activities.In any event, unless there is a voluntary submission to the search, it cannot take place without judicial authority.

asked the Prime Minister what is the policy of Her Majesty's Government in relation to raids by the European Economic Community Commission on the premises of British companies; and whether she is satisfied that the raid which occurred in June 1979 was not an infringement of civil liberties.

The EEC competition rules, which are directly applicable in the United Kingdom, give officials of the European Commission the power to investigate suspected breaches of those rules, including the power to enter business premises. Firms have to submit to investigations when ordered by a decision of the Commission. Such decisions may be the subject of an appeal to the Court of Justice. In view of this safeguard, the power conferred on the Commission by the competition rules does not I believe represent an unacceptable infringement of civil liberties. In the case to which I assume the hon. Member is referring, I understand that the firm is appealing against the Commission's decision.