HC Deb 15 December 1953 vol 522 cc185-6
28. Mr. Marlowe

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that the recent pay increase for civil servants, at a cost of about £2½ million a year, will automatically raise the pensions of those receiving this increase from 1st January last; and, as it is the announced policy of the Government that pensions for civil servants and for officers of the Armed Forces must keep in step, what action is contemplated to ensure that this policy of parity is now applied to officers of the Armed Forces.

Mr. R. A. Butler

It is the Government's policy that there shall be parity of treatment in the supplementation of Civil Service pensions and officers' retired pay already in issue. The recent pay increases for certain civil servants will have no effect on the pension of those who retired before the pay increases.

Mr. Marlowe

Is the Chancellor aware that that avoids the point I have put? Do not the facts show that all the story about the two having to operate together is so much eyewash and only works one way? Why is it that when any pay or pension increase for the Armed Forces is advocated, civil servants say that it cannot be done until they also have had it? Why does it not work the reverse way, so that civil servants cannot have it without the Armed Forces having it also?

Mr. Butler

My hon. and learned Friend has introduced so many questions into the supplementary question that it is difficult to give a reply. The first point is that those who have retired are not affected by the pay increase. In regard to the second part of the supplementary question, in relation to the original officers' retirement pay problem, there were civil servants who were treated broadly on the same lines as those officers in 1935, a matter which could be substantiated if we had more time.

Mr. Marlowe

Only 2,000 of them.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

Is it not a fact that by denying parity 14,000 ex-officers, some on very low rates of pension, are being denied the claim to which they are absolutely, legally, morally and in every other way entitled?

Mr. Butler

The facts, which should be known for the sake of public opinion, are that a great many of those officers on the lower rates of pension have, I am glad to say, had increases under the various Acts leading up to 1952.