There is a statutory limit on the number of ministers who can sit in the House of Commons, whether paid or unpaid, and a statutory limit on the number of ministers who can receive a ministerial salary. As a result, this Government, like its predecessor, has appointed a number of unpaid ministers, especially in the Lords. This provides the context for an exchange in Question Time yesterday when Foreign Office minister, Lord Howell of Guildford, was replying to questions:
“Lord Foulkes of Cumnock: My Lords, I commend the Minister for dealing with three out of four of today’s Questions in such detail. Will he confirm that he will still receive only his basic salary and not a performance bonus? Is that not an example to others?