§ 42. Mr. Deedes
asked the Minister of Transport what representations he has received from the British Transport Commission on the subject of railway pensioners; and if he will make a statement on the claims for increases.
§ 43. Captain Ryder
asked the Minister of Transport if he is aware of the hardship caused to railway superannuitants due to the decreased purchasing power of their pensions since these were fixed; and if he will now state what action is being taken to effect an improvement.
§ The Minister of Transport (Mr. Alan Lennox-Boyd)
As I have already told the House, the Commission have been examining the circumstances of railway pensioners to which attention was drawn in the debate on the Adjournment on 19th June. It is hoped that a decision will be reached before long.
§ Mr. Deedes
Is my right hon. Friend aware that this has already taken some time, much to the distress of railway annuitants? Can my right hon. Friend promise an early decision?
§ Mr. Edward Davies
Is the Minister hopeful that we may have a definite reply, and that when we get it there will be some prospect of improvement for the pensioners? That is the point.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
I cannot give any indication of the form that my reply will take, but I hope it will be possible to give an answer very soon.
§ Captain Ryder
Will my right hon. Friend also bear in mind that all other forms of pensioners have received some kind of consideration, and that this matter has been outstanding for a very long time indeed?
§ Mr. Popplewell
Will the Minister see that with the break-up of the Railway Executive and the return of the railways to regional authorities there will be no interference with these negotiations? Will he ensure that there will be a national scheme in connection with this matter?
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
I can certainly give an assurance that the regionalisation of the railways will in no way detrimentally affect the carrying out of any proposals that may be made.