HC Deb 10 July 1935 vol 304 cc459-62

Considered in Committee.

[Captain BOURNE in the Chair.]

Motion made, and Question proposed, That it is expedient to provide for the payment out of moneys provided by Parliament of such sums as may be necessary to secure that the annual allowances which under paragraph (a) of sub-section (3) of section three of the Teachers (Superannuation) Act, 1925, or under any scheme made under paragraph (b) or paragraph (c) of sub-section (1) of section twenty-one of that Act or under any scheme framed in pursuance of the Education (Scotland) (Superannuation) Acts, 1919 to 1925, accrue after the thirtieth day of June, nineteen hundred and thirty-five, to persons whose service included service during the period beginning on the first, day of October, nineteen hundred and thirty-one, and ending with the said thirtieth day of June shall not be less than 98 per cent. of the annual allowances which would have so accrued if during that period no reduction had been made in their salaries in pursuance of Article 2 of the National Economy (Education) Order, 1931, or Article 1 of the National Economy (Education) (Scotland) Order, 1931, or otherwise on account of the national economic conditions by reason whereof those Orders were made."—[King's Recommendation signified.]—[Mr. Ramsbotham.]

10.44 p.m.


I should like to say a word or two to amplify what is contained in the Financial Resolution. The Committee will remember that the pensions of teachers are based on their average salary during the last five years of their teaching service. Towards these pensions teachers pay 5 per cent. of their salaries, their employers, the local education authorities pay 2½ per cent. and the Board of Education pays 2½ per cent. The salaries, and consequently the contributions, were reduced in the autumn of 1931, and teachers who have retired from that time onward have suffered reduced pensions as long as the reduced salaries operated. The effect of the cuts in salaries from 1st October, 1931, to 30th June, 1935, is to reduce by varying sums up to 6½ per cent. the pension receivable by those teachers retiring within a period from the beginning of the cuts to a date up to five years after their removal. This is owing to the fact that the teachers are pensioned on the average salary which they receive during the last five years of their service.

This position has caused very considerable hardship to the teachers, and in order to meet the difficulties the Government stated in June of last year that they would initiate legislation which would provide that contributions were revised and the payment based on the uncut salaries. The position involved very great difficulties in view of the fact that it meant a collection of back contributions. After long negotiation the solution embodied in this Financial Resolution was arrived at, and it has been accepted by representatives of the teachers' organisations as a final settlement of the outstanding problems. The result is that the Government have produced a scheme by which the superannuation allowances of the teachers will not suffer any reduction exceeding 2 per cent. The cost to the Government, £1,000,000 for England and Wales—Scotland will have its proportionate amount—is approximately equal to what would be the extra net cost of the provision of pensions had there been no salary cuts. I very much hope that the Committee will agree to this proposal.


I would just like to say that on this side of the House we entirely agree with it.


Before we pass this Resolution, I would draw attention to the fact that this is one of the effects of the cuts, although it is only very slight. I am glad the teachers have reached agreement with the Government on the question, because it has been very hard on some of them. The solution may be much more helpful than we expected, and if that be so I shall be very glad.

Resolution to be reported To-morrow.