HC Deb 03 December 1951 vol 494 cc1998-9
8. Mr. H. Hynd

asked the Minister of National Insurance how far pensions and benefit rates will be increased to meet the higher food prices.

Mr. Peake

I am not at present contemplating any increases of this kind.

Hon. Members


Mr. Hynd

When the Minister says that he is not at present contemplating any increases, does he mean that he intends to bring forward legislation to meet these new increased prices to the full?

Mr. Peake

When I say that I am not at present contemplating any increases, that is exactly what I mean. I could not accept the view that any changes in price call for automatic adjustments in the rates of pension or of benefit.

Mr. E. Shinwell

Was not something said during the Election by the right hon. Gentleman's party about increasing family allowances if prices went up?

Mr. Peake

No. I think the undertaking that was given was that there would be a review in relation to pensions. As the right hon. Gentleman will observe, however, the Question relates to benefit rates as well as to pensions, and therefore I answered it in the form in which I did.