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Civil List

Volume 35: debated on Thursday 27 January 1983

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14.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if Her Majesty's Government will make it their policy when bringing forward proposals for increases in annuities to recipients on the Civil List for 1983–84, to reduce the proposed amount of each increase by the amount in excess of the rate of inflation by which that annuity was increased in 1982–83.

No; this policy is neither appropriate nor necessary. The policy is to increase annuities to recipients on the Civil List in line with increases in other public service cash limits and this policy will continue for 1983–84. Details will be published when the Supply Estimates are presented to Parliament in March.

Since the right hon. and learned Gentleman lays great stress on the need for restraint in wage and income demands and would prefer ideally a nil increase this year, would it not be a wonderful example for him to set by having a nil increase for these particular well-heeled individuals?

The hon. Gentleman should remember that annuities are paid to members of the royal family largely to meet their official expenses, which includes the wages and salaries of staff necessarily employed. The whole House would prefer to conclude that the economical nature of the arrangements for the support of the monarchy in this country would stand comparison with those for any head of state in any other country in the world.