HC Deb 21 November 1950 vol 481 cc187-8
36. Captain Ryder

asked the Minister of Pensions whether he will increase disability and widows' pensions, in view of the rising cost of living and increases in Service pay.

Mr. Marquand

I refer the hon. and gallant Member to the reply which I gave to the hon. and gallant Member for Knutsford (Lieut.-Colonel Bromley-Davenport) and the hon. Member for Wembley, South (Mr. Russell), on 17th October.

Captain Ryder

Is it not a fact that the cost of living has gone up since the rates of these pensions were fixed, and is it the policy of the Government to continue pensions as at present while the cost of living rises?

Mr. Marquand

The hon. and gallant Member—I say this with respect and in no way offensively—was not in the last Parliament and, therefore, may not be fully aware of the very large increases which have been made in the pensions and allowances of those who have to live on their pensions and allowances. The great mass of pensioners do not have to live on their pensions and, therefore, the cost of living is only one among many considerations to be taken into account.

Mr. Bossom

Can pensioners get this additional allowance without going through a means test?

Mr. Marquand

Oh, yes. Many of these additional allowances have nothing whatever to do with the recipient's other sources of income.

Sir I. Fraser

When the Minister speaks of these men having to live on their pensions, is he implying that the basic war pension is given for any other reason than a medical assessment of the injury?

Mr. Marquand

No, Sir. I am not implying any such connection, but that aspect seemed to be in the minds of hon. Members and I felt it necessary to clear up the point.

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