§ 65. General Sir George Jeffreys
asked the Minister of Pensions whether in view of the reduction some years ago of the pensions of officers on account of the fall in the cost of living, he will now, in view of the increase in the cost, at least make good the reduction in question?
§ The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Pensions (Mr. Paling)
There has not at any time been a reduction in the rates of retired pay for disabled officers laid down in Part 1 of the First Schedule to the Royal Warrant of 2nd July, 1920, nor in the rates of additional retired pay for disablement in the case of regular officers, and these rates were based on a cost of living figure higher than that now prevailing. I presume the hon. and gallant Member is referring to the adjustments in the rates of Service retired pay, and I would refer him to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer to a Question on this subject by the hon. Member for Abingdon (Sir R. Glyn) on 30th September.
§ Sir G. Jeffreys
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that that answer amounted in effect to a refusal to reconsider these rates which were stabilised at a rate 11 per cent, less than the original basic rate, and in view of the fact that increases of wages and salaries have been widely given on account of the increase in the cost of living, will he do bare justice to these officers, who are in many cases suffering real hardship?
§ Sir A. Southby
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that officers in the Service had a cut in basic pay at a time when no senior civil servant had had any cut at all?
§ 66. Sir G. Jeffreys
asked the Minister of Pensions whether, in view of the low assessment of the pensions of widows of officers killed on active service, and especially in view of the comparison of such pensions with others awarded in civil life, he will approve their early increase?
§ Mr. Paling
My right hon. Friend is of the opinion that the existing rates of pension for the widows of officers whose death is attributable to service bear a proper relation to the rates laid down generally in the various pension instruments and do not, accordingly, call for revision.
§ Sir G. Jeffreys
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that these rates of pension compare unfavourably in many cases with wages paid to unskilled labour under war conditions? Is he also aware that if these ladies possess, or their husbands possessed, any private means, they are called upon to pay Death Duties on them?