§ Mr. P. SNOWDEN
I cannot at present add anything to the announcement made in the King's Speech that the Government are engaged on a general survey of the various National Insurance and Pension schemes.
62. Sir F. HALL
asked the Prime Minister whether he has received a communication from one of the friendly societies requesting that the Government should reduce the pension age from 65 years to 60, and that the pension should be increased both for men and women to 20s. per week each on attaining 60 years of age; what would be the cost of such alteration; and whether the Government propose to introduce legislation so that the wishes of the friendly society may become effective?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of HEALTH (Miss Lawrence)
I have been asked to reply. As regards the first part of the question, many communications have been received suggesting extensions of the Contributory Pensions Act; as regards the second part, it is estimated that the net additional annual cost of reducing the pension age from 65 to 60 and increasing the rate of pension to 20s. a week would be approximately £83,000,000 in the first years and would increase rapidly; as regards the third part, my right hon. Friend can give no information in anticipation of the introduction of the amending Bill of which he has given notice.
Sir F. HALL
Have the Government any intention in any shape or form of undertaking the proposal referred to in this question? Will they say "yes" or "no"?
Sir F. HALL
May I assume that, owing to the promises the Minister of Agriculture referred to to-day, the Government are not in a position to carry out the obligations which they undertook or to deny them?