Part of the debate – in the House of Commons am 3:56 pm ar 6 Chwefror 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Esther McVey Esther McVey Minister without Portfolio 3:56, 6 Chwefror 2024

That is well dodged again by the right hon. Lady. She will not confirm that Labour would keep a tight fiscal grip on ministerial pay. Obviously, one of the key things about today’s motion is waste and expenditure. We will see what happens. As always, money runs away with the Labour party.

This Government passed the transformative Ministerial and other Maternity Allowances Act 2021, which for the first time enabled Ministers to take paid maternity leave and be replaced in their Department. Several Members have now benefited from this legislation when in office, and I am sure it will continue to be of immense value. The Government are committed to returning to Parliament in due course to set out proposals on extending the Act.

I conclude by reaffirming the Government’s commitment to recovering the money paid in error to a small number of former Ministers. I reassure the House that departmental processes have been strengthened to ensure that this error does not happen again. For the reasons I have set out, the Government do not think there should be wholesale legislative reform on this matter during this Parliament. We believe that a Government committed to the principle of integrity in public life is the most effective way to control the cost of government to the taxpayer.

In that spirit, we will continue to demonstrate restraint in how we are paid and we will continue to modernise ministerial office to meet the expectations that the public rightly have of us. The right hon. Member for Islington South and Finsbury could not say whether her party would maintain our cuts to ministerial salaries, could not apologise for the last Labour Government wasting money on PFI schemes and could not say whether this Bill, because it is such important emergency legislation, would be the first piece of legislation introduced by a Labour Government, so we can safely conclude that the Labour party does not care about taxpayers’ money.