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Lord Hardie: That would be a matter for the parliament and the Senior Salaries Review Board. There is a misunderstanding. Even the regional members would have a constituency. Their constituency would be the regions.

Clause 76 agreed to.

Clause 77 [Limits on salaries of members of the Parliament]:

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish moved Amendment No. 288ZC:

Page 37, leave out lines 29 and 30.

The noble Lord said: In moving this amendment, I should like to speak also to Amendment No. 288ZD. Contrary to the principle enunciated by the noble and learned Lord the Lord Advocate of leaving these matters to the Scottish parliament, Clause 77 tells the Scottish parliament that it must do something about the salaries of those members of the Scottish parliament who are also either members of the other place or indeed of your Lordships' House, although where the Government get the idea that Members of your Lordships' House are paid a salary, I am not entirely sure. But never mind.

Lord Mackay of Drumadoon: We live in hope.

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish: My noble and learned friend Lord Mackay of Drumadoon says, "We live in hope".

Clause 77 tells the parliament what to do about those members of the Scottish parliament who are Members of this place or of the other place and/or members of the European Parliament. I find it odd that the same principle does not apply as applied a little while ago, that we should leave this matter to the parliament. In fact, I may decide to strike out Clause 77 if we come to that position because there seems to be a little nannying here. Perhaps the noble Lord, Lord Steel of Aikwood, might reprimand the Government in this regard.

However, I am consistent because I have no difficulty with the principle that something ought to be laid down about dual salaries and that there ought to be some way to prevent someone collecting both salaries. The public would not consider that right and I believe that the House has a responsibility to tackle this issue.

What bothers me is that the clause is so vaguely drawn. Subsection (2) states:

Would the Scottish parliament be obeying this clause if it decided that a person should receive a 99 per cent. proportion? It seems to me that it would. In fact it could even argue that a 100 per cent. proportion would be obeying the clause. Technically, 100 per cent. is a proportion of a salary. It is the total salary but it is still a proportion. However, let us not split hairs. Let us go to 99 per cent. or 90 per cent. It seems to me that that would be obeying the instruction in Clause 77.

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What do the Government mean by this? Do they have a ball-park figure? Is it 90 per cent., or 80 per cent., or are we looking at 50 per cent.? Before we pass such vague legislation we ought to have an indication, even within parameters--I am not too bothered about the parameters--of what the Government intend here. If they do not know what they intend, I suggest that they strike out the whole clause and leave it to the good sense of the Scottish parliament to realise that when it fixes the salaries it will have to deal with any of its members who are also Members of the House of Commons or members of the European Parliament.

I have no problem with people undertaking a dual role. We put far too many obstacles against people doing that. It is a pity that some Members of the other place are not also Members of the European Parliament. I know that some are for a brief time. One of my colleagues certainly is at present but I suspect that she will be resigning her European seat. It would not do any harm for the Scottish parliament to have some members who are dual-mandated for the other place and for the European Parliament. I want to make it clear that I am not opposed to that.

However, I am opposed to such a vague clause as this is. I hope that the Government will give me at least an indication of the kind of figures that they consider would be appropriate when it comes to defining the word "proportion". I beg to move.

Lord Sempill: I wish to support my noble friend on the Front Bench. In doing so, I declare an interest. I shall be standing for the Scottish parliament. I wish to address an issue which has not been raised so far.

Perhaps I may pick up the point made by my noble friend Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish on the issue of claiming two salaries. It is my intention to have the hope of claiming one salary. As I am sure the Committee will be aware, a Conservative hereditary Peer is a fairly rare bird in Scottish politics. Therefore, the odds on my winning the seat are quite high.

I am sure that the Committee will sympathise with the fact that I shall have to spend a considerable amount of my time away from this Chamber, which I have great pleasure in attending and for which I am covered by my daily expenses, in order to give myself and my party a fair chance of winning the seat. That is the way it should be.

However, I must tell the Committee who I shall be opposing in that seat. It is not just applicable to my seat but is applicable to a few other seats. I shall be opposing an honourable Member from the other place. I am talking about the honourable Member for Edinburgh North and Leith, Mr. Malcolm Chisholm. He will have the huge advantage of being able to fight that seat while in receipt of a full parliamentary salary, with all the appropriate expenses, which I am sure is applicable to the Secretary of State, who will be doing the same thing. Therefore, for reasons which are fairly straightforward, I believe that I am getting a raw deal here.

Therefore, it strikes me that in the initial stages we have a few anomalies. I find it difficult that I should face an opponent who will have the ability to spend a

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considerable amount of time in his constituency, in reality representing his Westminster constituency while at the same time fighting a seat in a Scottish constituency without encountering any of the financial pitfalls that I must encounter.

I ask the Minister to give me a view on that potential anomaly.

Baroness Carnegy of Lour: In view of the fact that the last amendment was opposed on the grounds that people must take full responsibility, I do not understand why this clause tells the Scottish parliament the way in which it must calculate what people are paid but does not indicate the level at all. Why should the parliament be told the way in which that must be calculated?

We were told also that the workload should not be taken into account. I believe that the noble and learned Lord the Lord Advocate said that the workload of a member of the Scottish parliament was not relevant, did he not? Somebody said that. It seems to me extraordinary that the mechanism is provided but no amount is given. I do not understand that.

Lord Hardie: There appears to be a consensus at least to the extent that it would not be appropriate to have a double salary and there should be some recognition of the fact that members are also Members of another place or members of the European Parliament because obviously they may not be able to devote the same amount of time to the Scottish parliament. There is no doubt about the principle, as I understand the point made by the noble Lord, Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish.

The only question then is whether we should acknowledge the principle within the legislation that there should be some abatement. I take the point made by the noble Baroness, Lady Carnegy of Lour, that all we have done is to set out a formula and we have not set out the abatement level.

I am able to advise the noble Lord, Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish, that we referred the abatement levels to the Senior Salaries Review Board. Advice will be available to the Scottish parliament on that matter and no doubt the Scottish parliament will take that advice into account in formulating the appropriate abatement.

A fundamental difficulty arises with these amendments, and it is this. The effect of these amendments would be to reduce the salary of a member of the Scottish parliament by the amount that he or she receives as a Member of the other place or as a member of the European Parliament. I wonder whether that implication was intended.

What would happen if the Scottish parliament decided that its members should receive a lower level of salary than Members of the other place? In practice that would mean that if a member of the Scottish parliament was also a Member of the other place, he or she would not receive anything for being a member of the Scottish parliament. They would represent constituents in both parliaments but be in receipt of only one salary with no acknowledgement for their additional responsibilities as a member of the Scottish parliament. I am sure that that is not the intention behind the amendments.

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With that explanation I invite the noble Lord to withdraw the amendment. However, perhaps I may deal briefly with the point raised by the noble Lord, Lord Sempill, though I am not sure of its relevance to the amendments. However, it must have some relevance and on that assumption I shall seek to answer his question.

First, the noble Lord appears to be under a misapprehension that his opponent is a Member of the Government; he is not. Mr. Chisholm is not a Member of the Government Front Bench. Equally, the issue as to what prospective candidates do, whether they are employed and how much time they spend in their prospective constituency is surely a matter for the candidates themselves. If the noble Lord wishes to have any prospect of winning that seat, I suggest that he spends more time there.

9.15 p.m.

Lord Sempill: Perhaps I can come back to the noble and learned Lord the Lord Advocate. I am aware that the Member for Edinburgh North left the Government Front Bench. I was simply pointing out that he was a member of the Labour Party.

The advantage that that Member has is that he must attend his constituency. At the moment, when he attends his constituency he is paid for the work he does in that constituency by his representation in Westminster. He has the advantage of being able to push forward his case underneath the auspices of being a Westminster MP. My point is that he has a considerable advantage over the rest of us who are not in that privileged position. That is the only point I wish to make. In backing my colleague on the Front Bench, I wished to point out the differences in the possibility of dual mandates and the advantages of a dual mandate.

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