HC Deb 23 January 1947 vol 432 cc411-3

(1) The limits of one hundred and fifty pounds and two hundred pounds specified in paragraph (3) of Section two of the Pensions (Increase) Act, 1920 (which makes it a condition for the increase of a pension under that Act that the means of the pensioner are less than one hundred and fifty pounds a year if unmarried, or two hundred pounds a year if married) and in proviso (ii) to paragraph 1 of the Schedule to that Act (under which no pension may be increased by an amount greater than is sufficient to bring the means of the pensioner up to the said limits) shall be increased to two hundred pounds and two hundred and seventy-five pounds respectively.

(2)In proviso (1) to paragraph 1 of the First Schedule to the said Act of 1920 (which provides that if the amount to which a pension may be increased under the scale set out in that paragraph is less than the amount to which a smaller pension might be increased, it may be increased to the latter amount) after the words "might be in creased" there shall be inserted the words "or if a pension greater than such as may be increased under the said scale is less than the amount to which a smaller pension might be increased."

(3) The foregoing provisions of this section shall apply to any instalment of an increase of pension payable under the Pensions (Increase) Acts, 1920 and 1924, in respect of any period beginning on or after the first day of December, nineteen hundred and forty-six, irrespective of the date at which an increase of the pension was first granted; and any payment of such an instalment made before the passing of this Act shall be adjusted accordingly.

(4) This section shall be construed as one with the Pensions (Increase) Acts, 1920 and 1924.—[Mr. Glenvil Hall.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

Mr. Glenvil Hall

I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time."

Those who were in the House last night will remember that a Money Resolution was agreed to, in order that this afternoon we could insert this new Clause, if the Committee agreed to it. The point is quite a tiny one although it requires a rather complicated and lengthy Clause to put it into operation. It was brought to our notice during the Recess that certain pensioners who got their pension by retirement 25 or even 30 years ago, and who received a pensions increase after the last war under the Pensions (Increase) Act of 1920 and the further Act of 1924, might as a result of the recent increase given in the old age pension lose part or the whole of their increase under the 1920 Act. That was due to the fact that the income limits set in the Acts of 1920 and 1924 were too low. They were £150 in the case of a single man and £200 in the case of a married man. The new contributory pension of 26s. for a single individual and 42s. for a married couple mean an increase in the rates of £41 12s. and £57 4s. a year and we are now taking power in this Clause—and we did in the Money Resolution—to raise the income, limits under the Acts of 1920 and 1924 to £200 and £275 respectively. That will permit this very small body of pensioners —there cannot be many of them left—to take advantage of and qualify for the increases in the new old-age pension which came into force on 1st October last.

Mr. Peake

This seems to me' to be a sensible and desirable provision. It will enable a very small number of pensioners to obtain the full benefit of the recent increase in the old age pension. I say a small number, because anyone who has retired already on a Civil Service pension in the year 1920 must, by now, be enjoying a very ripe old age. On the other hand, there may be a few policemen who retire at an earlier age than the ordinary retiring age and who will qualify under the new Clause, and we shall certainly support it.

Clause read a Second time, and added to the Bill.

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