Part of the debate – in the House of Commons am 4:54 pm ar 6 Chwefror 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Jerome Mayhew Jerome Mayhew Ceidwadwyr, Broadland 4:54, 6 Chwefror 2024

As I said at the start of my speech, there are elements where there is genuine cause for review, but if we followed the right hon. Lady’s train of thought, we would have thousands upon thousands of one-paragraph Acts clogging up the legislation. We need to do better than that. With responsible government, which is what we on the Government Benches try to focus on, we review appropriately, we use advice from civil servants and then we propose legislation.

Beyond the poverty of Labour’s motion drafting, there is the wider issue of ministerial pay and value for money. As my hon. Friend Anna Firth pointed out in her good speech, when the Conservatives came to power in 2010 as part of the coalition, it was not a case of just accepting what had gone before. The Government, under the leadership of David Cameron, cut ministerial salaries by 5%. More importantly, every single year since then—throughout the coalition period and the Conservative Government period—ministerial salaries have been frozen.

Let us look at value for money and the difference we get between a Labour Administration and a Conservative one. I see the Labour Whip, Gerald Jones, is in his place. In 2010, under Labour, he would have benefited from a salary of £40,926. [Hon. Members: “He doesn’t get anything.”] Under the Conservatives, that equivalent position—if he were in government—receives a salary of £17,917.

For Parliamentary Under-Secretaries of State, Labour Members paid themselves £48,270 in addition to their parliamentary salaries. Under the Conservatives, that has been reduced, in modern terms, to £22,375. At Minister of State level, under the Conservatives they are paid £31,680; under Labour, they paid themselves the equivalent of £63,594—they would have had no trouble with their mortgage payments. Cabinet Ministers under the Conservatives are paid an additional £67,505; Labour thought it appropriate to pay theirs £122,598. We have heard how Liam Byrne said there was no money left, and now I am beginning to understand where it all went.

We come to the position of Prime Minister. This Prime Minister is paid an additional £75,440. Labour Prime Ministers think it appropriate to pay themselves £204,329, in today’s money, on top. When we add the Pensions Increase (Pension Scheme for Keir Starmer QC) Regulations 2013—Keir Starmer has his own special pension arrangements from his work as Director of Public Prosecutions, disapplying any lifetime allowance for him, not for anyone else—to £204,329 for being Prime Minister, plus his MP’s salary of £86,584, it is no wonder he votes Labour. He can afford to be a socialist.

The question for Labour is, will it commit today to continue the freeze on ministerial salaries? The right hon. Member for Islington South and Finsbury was asked that by my hon. Friend the Member for Southend West, and she was unable to answer it. I gave her the opportunity again to answer it, and she refused. If she does not know the answer, perhaps she can write to me.