§ 21. Captain Duncan
asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether he is now in a position to make a statement regarding regulations to provide increased super-annuation to the workers of the Scottish Gas Board who were transferred from employment under local authorities on nationalisation, in view of the fact that employees of such local authorities who were employed on similar terms to gas workers have recently received increases in their superannuation.
§ 26. Sir I. Fraser
asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if he has now considered, and when he will now present, Regulations under the Gas Act, 1948, to give equivalent benefits to ex-municipal pensioners to those they would have received if nationalisation had not taken place.
§ 31. Mr. Shurmer
asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if he will make a statement on the question of increased pensions to ex-employees of municipal gas undertakings now nationalised.
§ The Minister of Fuel and Power (Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd)
Yes, Sir. I have carefully considered the position of those pensioners from the gas industry who were formerly employed by local authorities and I shall be prepared to agree to amendments to their pensions schemes so as to give then benefits comparable to those given under the Pensions (Increase) Act, 1952.
§ Captain Duncan
May I thank my right hon. Friend for his reply? Is he aware that this will give great satisfaction to many old gentlemen who have retired after giving good service in the gas industry and who, up to now, have been victims of nationalisation?
§ Sir I. Fraser
When will this become effective? While thanking the Minister for what he has said, may I ask if he is aware that it is nearly three months since he said he would do this?
§ Mr. Lloyd
Yes, Sir. I have no doubt that the Gas Boards will act speedily in this matter. I have considered the points made by my hon. Friend and it is my intention that these benefits should be retrospective from the same date as they began in regard to the Pensions (Increase) Act, 1952.
§ Mr. Lewis
In thanking the Minister for his reply, may I ask him whether he would consult the Minister of Transport and other Ministers concerned to see that a similar scheme is introduced for those who were formerly employed by the L.C.C. tramways and other tramway corporations such as Croydon and West Ham, because they are in a similar position?
What does my right hon. Friend propose to do in respect of pensioners formerly employed by private gas companies, in view of the fact that those men will also have to contribute in general, through indirect and direct taxation, towards the pensions of the former employees of municipal authorities?
§ Mr. Lloyd
My present answer relates to the question of statutory pension increases under the Pensions (Increase) Act.