43. Miss WARD
asked the Minister of Health whether, in the interest of local government officers, he will take steps to ensure that all councils shall introduce a proper scheme of superannuation?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of HEALTH (Mr. Shakespeare)
It is open to local authorities to adopt the Local Government and 940 Other Officers Superannuation Act, 1922, but my right hon. Friend has under existing legislation no power to compel them to do so. The question of further legislation has been under consideration, but in the present state of Parliamentary business it is impossible to contemplate such action.
In view of the fact that there are several councils in Northumberland which have no superannuation schemes, could not my hon. Friend send a very strong letter to such local Authorities asking them whether it is not possible for them to put superannuation schemes into operation; and does he not think it rather unfair that some people should have to work without any provision for their old age, when it is purely a matter of luck which council employs them?
§ Mr. SHAKESPEARE
These matters were considered when the Measure was before the House, and Parliament decided that it was better to make it optional. As far as my Department is concerned, we are strongly in favour of its extension to all local authorities.
In future cases, in which the optional method is considered by Parliament, will my hon. Friend bear in mind that optional methods are not always the most satisfactory?