Skip to main content

Clegg Commission

Volume 990: debated on Monday 4 August 1980

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

asked the Prime Minister whether she will make a statement about the future of the Clegg Commission.

As the House knows, the Government have kept under review the work of the Standing Commission on pay comparability and I have now received the commission's own general report on its work. This is being published today. We have concluded that no further references should be made to the commission and that it should be wound up once it has reported on its outstanding references. I expect this to be about the turn of the year.The Government are grateful to Professor Clegg and the other members of the commission for the very considerable efforts required of them in dealing with many questions of great complexity, usually within severe time restraints.

The Government are not, however, satisfied that institutionalised comparability arrangements have proved the most satisfactory means of determining the pay of the public service groups which have been referred to the commission.

The commission itself recognises in its general report that there have been difficulties with many of the comparability systems it has had to use. Although it makes tentative proposals for developing better systems, this would take a long time; and the commission is not sure that they would prove entirely successful. Moreover, the commission has concluded that it is not possible for it to adjust its findings to take account of the relative efficiency of the groups being compared, or of the state of the labour market; and regards these as matters for negotiation.

Much of the commission's work has been concerned with the injustices and anomalies created by the previous Administration's pay policies. That is in the past. For the future, pay needs to be negotiated with full regard to the country's economic circumstances, to the need to improve the efficiency of the public services and to what the taxpayer and ratepayer can be expected to afford.