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Parliamentary Standards Act

Volume 560: debated on Tuesday 19 March 2013

I beg to move,

That—

(1) Subject to paragraphs (2) and (3), the following offices of positions are specified for the purposes of section 4A(2) of the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009, with effect from 1 April 2013—

(a) the Chair of a select committee appointed under Standing Order No. 152 (Select Committees related to government departments), the Administration Committee, the Backbench Business Committee, the Environmental Audit Committee, the European Scrutiny Committee, the Finance and Services Committee, the Liaison Committee, the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee, the Select Committee on Procedure, the Committee of Public Accounts, the Select Committee on Public Administration, the Regulatory Reform Committee, the Committee of Selection, the Committee on Standards, the Joint Committee on Human Rights or the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments; and

(b) a member of the Panel of Chairs appointed under Standing Order No. 4 (Panel of Chairs), other than a member who is the Chair of a committee specified in sub-paragraph (a) or a member who is entitled to an additional salary by virtue of any provision of the Ministerial and other Salaries Act 1975.

(2) If a Member already holds an office or position referred to in paragraph (1)(a), then any other office or position referred to in paragraph (1)(a) is not specified for the purposes of section 4A(2) of the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009 in respect of any period for which that other post or position is held by that Member.

(3) Any office or position referred to in paragraph (1)(a) for the purposes of section 4A(2) of the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009 is not specified for the purposes of that section in respect of any period in which it is held by a Member who is also entitled to an additional salary by virtue of any provision of the Ministerial and other Salaries Act 1975.

(4) Any reference to any committee in paragraph (1)(a) shall, if the name of the committee is changed, be taken to be a reference to the committee by its new name.

This is essentially a technical motion to meet the requirements of the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009. It enables specified Select Committee Chairs and members of the Panel of Chairs to continue to be paid an additional salary when the first determination by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority of MPs’ salaries comes into effect on 1 April 2013, and when there are any future determinations thereafter, as set out in the Act.

As Members may recall, under section 4 of the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009, as amended by the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010, IPSA was given responsibility for paying the salaries of Members of the House of Commons. Sections 4 and 4A give IPSA responsibility for determining the amount of Members’ salaries and provide that it may determine higher salaries to be payable to Members holding offices or positions that are specified in a resolution of the House of Commons.

Under the new arrangements from 1 April, the House retains responsibility for determining those offices or positions eligible for the additional salary, but does not, of course, set the level of this additional salary. The motion specifies those positions, but importantly, the House should recognise that it makes no changes to the list of positions already eligible under existing resolutions of the House. Members can see for themselves on the Order Paper the list that the House has agreed to previously. It ensures that the—

Proceedings interrupted (Standing Order No. 9(3)).

Motion made, and Question put forthwith (Standing Order No. 41A(3)),

That, at this day’s sitting, Standing Order No. 41A (Deferred divisions) shall not apply to the Motion in the name of Mr Andrew Lansley relating to the positions for which additional salaries are payable for the purposes of section 4A(2) of the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009.—(Karen Bradley.)

Question agreed to.

Proceedings resumed.

The motion ensures that the pay settlement that takes effect from 1 April 2013 will apply to the positions listed for the purposes of the payment of additional salaries. The first determination of salaries for Members by IPSA will take effect from 1 April 2013. That determination by IPSA provides for a 1% increase in the salary of Members in April 2013 and a further 1% increase in April 2014. IPSA further determined that the additional salary payable to specified holders will also receive a 1% increase. The motion will ensure that this increase is payable to the specified office holders to whom an additional salary is paid. It will also allow IPSA to make further determinations, without the need for any intervention of the House, although IPSA is required by statute to consult and then to publish its determination.

The motion also makes it clear that no Member may receive two additional salaries for any period of time, whether by virtue of holding two specified positions or because they are paid a ministerial or other salary by virtue of the Ministerial and other Salaries Act 1975.

I hope that explains the purpose of the motion, which I commend to the House.

I thank the Leader of the House for explaining the motion before us. As he said, it allows the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority to continue paying the Panel of Chairs and Chairs of Select Committees an additional amount, on top of their parliamentary salary, on 1 April 2013. Although IPSA has the power to set MPs’ pay, the House retains responsibility for determining which offices or positions are eligible for the higher salary. The motion sets out the positions that will qualify for the extra salary payment. As the Leader of the House noted, it makes no changes from the list of positions already eligible under existing resolutions of the House.

IPSA was given the power to determine MPs’ pay in May 2011 and has recently concluded a consultation on pay rates for the next two years. It concluded, as the Leader of the House said, that MPs’ pay should rise by 1% in 2013 and by a further 1% in 2014. The motion allows that 1% increase to be added to the additional pay given to the members of the Panel of Chairs and the Chairs of Select Committees.

The Opposition agree with the Government that this is a necessary motion, which need not detain the House for long, and we therefore give it our support.

Question put and agreed to.