§ 89. Mr. TURTON
asked the Minister of Health whether his attention has been called to the hard case of Benjamin Exley, an attendant at the North Riding Asylum, aged 71, who will on 31st December be retired on a pension of 28s. per week, whereas had he resigned prior to the 16th August last he would have been entitled, under The Pensions (Increase) Act, 1920, to a pension of 38s.; and what action, if any, he is prepared to take to remedy this injustice?
§ Colonel GIBBS (for Dr. Addison)
My attention has not previously been called to this case. I am prepared within the limits of my discretion under the Asylum Officers' Superannuation Act to give sympathetic consideration to any application made by the local authority in the case.
§ 90. Mr. TURTON
asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that, in all the asylums throughout the country, there are a large number of men over pension able age who stayed on during the War to assist and for the benefit of the country, and who are, in consequence, outside the provisions of The Increase of Pensions Act, 1920; and why no notice was circulated of the terms of the Act and the Treasury Order making the last date for any benefit under the Act 16th August, 1920, in time for the men to apply for pensions then due?
§ Colonel GIBBS
The Pensions (Increase) Act, 1920, applies only to pensioners in receipt of pensions at the date of the passing of the Act, namely, the 16th 1923 August, 1920. My hon. Friend will see that notice of the terms of the Act could not have been circulated before the Act was passed.
§ 91. Mr. TURTON
asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that the Asylum Officers' Superannuation Act, 1909, provides for an average of the last 10 years' salary as the basis of calculation for computing pensions as compared with a five years' average in the Poor Law service and the latest salary in the case of the police; that this 10 years' average brings down the pension out of all proportion to present-day conditions, and inflicts great hardship on a most deserving class of public officials; and what action he proposes to take in the matter?
§ Colonel GIBBS
The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative, but the position cannot be altered without legislation.