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Civil Service (Pay)

Volume 32: debated on Thursday 25 November 1982

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the present overall cost of (a) basic pay and (b) incremental pay in the Civil Service; if he will show total incremental pay as a percentage of pay generally; and if he will compare the cost and percentage appertaining at present with the likely cost of the merit pay schemes proposed in the Megaw report at present rates.

As in a wide range of employments, increments are not an addition to basic pay, the scale as a whole represents the rate for the job. Increments are thus included in the non-industrial Civil Service pay bill which currently stands at about £3·5 billion, excluding over-time payments, allowances and employers' national insurance contributions. The cost of paying additional increments due in the current financial year is estimated to be about £80 million. But the effect on the pay bill should be less than this, due to changes in the Civil Service population during the financial year; new entrants to the Civil Service will be paid on lower incremental points than those they replace.Following the recommendations of the Megaw report, the Government are considering a number of options for performance-related pay in the Civil Service. However, no decisions have yet been taken and no comparisons can therefore be made between the present cost of increments and the cost of a possible system of merit pay.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many civil servants are in receipt of incremental pay; and what percentage of the total of civil service staff this represents.

The number of non-industrial civil servants on incremental scales is about 516,000 and this represents over 98 per cent. of the total. But many of these will not in fact be receiving any further increments because they are already on the maximum of their scale. Thus, the number of non-industrial civil servants due to receive an increment in the current financial year is about 235,000.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if wage increases are applied to each point on the incremental scales of Civil Service pay; and, if so, how the amount of each increment has increased over the past five years for clerical officer and assistant secretary grades.

Pay awards apply to all points on incremental scales because it is the scale as a whole which is the rate for the job, but the percentage added on at each incremental point will depend on the particular award. The amounts by which the value of increments have changed over the past five years are shown in the following table for the two grades referred to.

1 April 19771 April 1982
Average value of increments588919
Main scale
1 April 19771 April 1982
Entry/junior scale
Age points:211,970
Average value of increments105270

Note: Scales shown for 1 April 1977 include the cost of living supplements payable under incomes policy.