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Lord Burlison: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do adjourn during pleasure until 8.50 p.m.

Moved accordingly, and, on Question, Motion agreed to.

[The Sitting was suspended from 8.42 to 8.50 p.m.]

Greater London Authority Bill

Consideration of amendments on Report resumed on Clause 20.

[Amendments Nos. 50 to 53 not moved.]

Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 54:


After Clause 22, insert the following new clause--

SALARIES AND E“PENSES

(“ .--(1) The Authority shall pay to the Mayor and the Assembly members salaries at such levels--
(a) as the Authority from time to time determines; or
(b) before the first determination, as the Secretary of State directs.
(2) The Authority may pay to the Mayor and the Assembly members, in respect of expenses incurred in the exercise of their functions, allowances at such levels--
(a) as the Authority may from time to time determine; or
(b) before the first determination, as the Secretary of State may direct.
(3) A determination or direction under subsection (1) above may provide--
(a) for a higher level of salary to be payable to the Mayor than to any Assembly member;
(b) for higher levels of salaries to be payable to Assembly members holding the offices specified in subsection (4) below than to other Assembly members; and
(c) for different salaries to be payable to Assembly members holding different such offices.

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(4) The offices mentioned in subsection (3)(b) above are--
(a) Deputy Mayor;
(b) Chair of the Assembly.
(5) A determination or direction under subsection (2) above may provide for different allowances for different cases.
(6) A determination under this section may provide for levels of salaries or allowances to change from time to time by reference to a specified formula.
(7) The Authority's functions of making determinations under this section shall be functions of the Authority which are exercisable by the Mayor and the Assembly acting jointly on behalf of the Authority.
(8) The standing orders of the Authority must include provision for the publication of every determination under this section.
(9) The Secretary of State shall publish any direction under this section as soon as is reasonably practicable after it is given.")

The noble Lord said: My Lords, there is a range of amendments involved here. They attempt to carry out some quite straightforward things although, in the light of events of the past hour, I am not entirely sure that that will convince people. These amendments provide for the authority to pay the mayor and the assembly members salaries and expenses and for the abatement of those salaries where the members hold other paid public office to which they have been elected or appointed. They provide for the authority to establish a pensions scheme both for the mayor and the assembly and for the authority to publish details each year of salaries and expenses which have been paid and the financial provisions which have been made for pensions. There is also provision for assembly members to be excluded from the right to claim an attendance allowance or other remuneration from the fire authority and the London Development Agency. Provision is already made for that as regards the Metropolitan Police Authority. Of course, assembly members cannot be appointed to TfL. The other minor amendments in this group are consequential.

In this context perhaps I should also mention that my right honourable friend the Deputy Prime Minister has invited the Senior Salaries Review Body to make recommendations to him about the initial levels of salaries which should be paid to the mayor and assembly members and to recommend an uprating mechanism. I beg to move.

Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer: My Lords, I would like to check that when the Minister refers to a range of subjects he is also speaking to Amendment No. 55.

Lord Whitty: My Lords, I should have said that in moving Amendment No. 54 I was also speaking to Amendments Nos. 55 to 57, 60, 536, 539, 566 and to Amendment No. 572 as regards pensions.

Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer: My Lords, I thank the Minister. That is very clear. I speak in particular to subsection (3) of Amendment No. 55. Why should an authority member, who is also a member of another public body, suffer the penalty of having his or her salary reduced to a specific proportion of what it would otherwise be or to a

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specified amount? First, that appears not to be very logical. Secondly, it appears to be a very dangerous precedent. If one works for the family firm or is employed in the private sector, one's salary would remain the same as that for an assembly member. However, because one is appointed or elected to another public body, it appears that the purpose of this amendment is to reduce any allowance received.

If the idea is that one would only be able to serve on one public body because the financial penalties involved in serving on more would preclude one from doing so, I believe that the Government should say so. It is the electorate's choice to decide whether it is a good idea for a person to serve on more than one public body. A principle has been established that there is some point in having people to serve on more than one body because they bring experience and cross-fertilisation of ideas from one body to another. To penalise them financially, as this amendment seems to do, does not achieve any useful purpose. I imagine that it would be very counter-productive for someone who did not have any salaried employment for any reason. It might be a parent who chooses to stay at home to look after the children but who has positions on two public bodies. It might be someone who has retired but is still able to bring considerable expertise to more than one public body.

I ask the Minister to say what is the point of reducing a person's salary simply because he or she has been elected to another public body. One should bear in mind that quite often an appointment to some of the public bodies, commissions and so forth, which the Government have introduced, have been dependent on expertise gained, for example, in a local authority. That might equally be the position as regards a London authority member. I would like the Minister to explain exactly the purpose of this amendment. I am minded to disagree with what appears to be its purpose.

Lord Lucas: My Lords, I shall be very grateful to the noble Lord if he can tell me the position under these amendments of what one might call “provisions" made for members such as free transport, free canteens, staff and other facilities which might be provided for members. Do the appropriate costs have to be published as well as the salaries and allowances or are the advantages for the members of the assembly provided in this way free from public inspection, at least in their minutiae?

Lord Whitty: My Lords, as regards the question asked by the noble Lord, Lord Lucas, if there were a subsidy for catering facilities or transport, that would appear in the mayor's budget and therefore be subject to scrutiny. It would not necessarily cross-refer to the abatement and the other provisions of these amendments. Nevertheless these provisions would be in the public arena.

In reply to the noble Baroness, Lady Miller of Chilthorne Domer, the position is that these measures generalise the provisions that already exist in relation

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to the dual function of MPs and MEPs. There are Members of Parliament who are members of both the European Parliament and the Westminster Parliament. They take only one salary. There are similar provisions for persons who are members of the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly and the Westminster Parliament. Given that these are paid, full-time jobs in the London assembly, it is re-running the same provisions concerning their positions.

I agree that as regards Amendment No. 55 and subsection (1)(c), the matter is widened somewhat further. But the same considerations apply. We are not against people being appointed or elected to more than one authority or more than one tier of government, but, in principle at least, we are against their having cumulative salaries for so doing. That is already the position as regards MEPs and legislation passed concerning Scotland and Wales.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord Whitty moved Amendments Nos. 55 to 57:


After Clause 22, insert the following new clause--

LIMIT ON SALARIES OF MEMBERS OF OTHER PUBLIC BODIES

(“ .--(1) The Secretary of State may by order make provision such as is specified in subsection (3) below in relation to any Authority members to whom relevant remuneration is payable--
(a) pursuant to a resolution (or combination of resolutions) of either House of Parliament relating to the remuneration of members of that House;
(b) under section 1 of the European Parliament (Pay and Pensions) Act 1979 (remuneration of United Kingdom MEPs); or
(c) in respect of their membership of any other public body (whether elected or appointed) which is specified in the order.
(2) In this section--
“Authority member" means--
(a) the Mayor; or
(b) an Assembly member;
“relevant remuneration" means--
(a) a salary; or
(b) any allowance of a description specified by order made by the Secretary of State.
(3) The provision referred to in subsection (1) above is provision that the amount of the salary payable to an Authority member under section (Salaries and expenses) above--
(a) shall be reduced to a specified proportion of what it otherwise would be or to a specified amount; or
(b) shall be reduced by the amount of the relevant remuneration payable to him as mentioned in subsection (1) above, by a specified proportion of that amount or by some other specified amount.
(4) An order under subsection (1) above may make different provision in relation to Authority members--
(a) to whom (apart from the order) different amounts of salary would be payable under section (Salaries and expenses) above; or
(b) to whom different amounts of relevant remuneration are payable as mentioned in subsection (1) above.
(5) Such an order may include provision that it (or a specified part of it) is not to apply to a specified Authority member or description of Authority members--
(a) either indefinitely or for a specified period; and

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(b) either unconditionally or subject to the fulfilment of specified conditions.")
After Clause 22, insert the following new clause--
PENSIONS

(“ .--(1) The Authority may make such provision for the payment of pensions to or in respect of persons who have ceased to be the Mayor or an Assembly member--
(a) as the Authority may from time to time determine; or
(b) before the first determination, as the Secretary of State may direct.
(2) The provision which may be made under this section includes, in particular, provision for--
(a) the making of payments towards the provision of superannuation benefits;
(b) establishing and administering one or more schemes for the provision of such benefits;
(c) the making of such payments as are mentioned in paragraph (a) above to any scheme (whether or not established or administered by virtue of paragraph (b) above) of which the Mayor or an Assembly member may be or become a member.
(3) Different provision may be made under this section for different cases.
(4) The Authority's function of determining the provision that may be made under subsection (1) above shall be a function of the Authority which is exercisable by the Mayor and the Assembly acting jointly on behalf of the Authority.
(5) The standing orders of the Assembly must include provision for the publication of every determination under this section.
(6) The Secretary of State shall publish any direction under this section as soon as is reasonably practicable after it is given.
(7) A determination or direction under this section shall not affect pensions in payment before the making of the determination or the giving of the direction.")
After Clause 22, insert the following new clause--
PUBLICATION OF INFORMATION ABOUT REMUNERATION PAID

(“ . The standing orders of the Authority must contain provision for the publication of information relating to sums paid under sections (Salaries and expenses) and (Pensions) above for each financial year.")

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 23 [Declaration of acceptance of office]:

[Amendment Nos. 58 and 59 not moved.]


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