HC Deb 03 February 1955 vol 536 cc1269-70
51. Mr. Morley

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will introduce a further Pensions (Increase) Bill during the present Session.

Mr. H. Brooke

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Tynemouth (Miss Ward) on 4th November.

Mr. Morley

Is the Financial Secretary aware that public service pensioners are very dismayed by the fact that the increases given to them under the previous Pensions (Increase) Acts have not compensated for the increase in the cost of living, and that they are looking forward to another increase in pension? Can he say if he has received sympathetic representations on the matter from the T.U.C.?

Mr. Brooke

My right hon. Friend and a number of hon. Members have received a quantity of individual representations on this matter. I cannot say offhand what bodies have made representations, but in my previous answer, on 4th November, I pointed out that the Government stated their policy in a White Paper last March, and there has been no change in the circumstances since then to modify the conclusions reached in the White Paper.

Mr. G. Thomas

Is the Minister aware that the National Union of Teachers has already called for consideration of these people who are living on the lower pension rate? Is he further aware that those who are benefiting from the Pensions (Increase) Acts have been notified that they are not going to have the benefit of the late increase promised by the Government, but that it will be taken from the other pension? Will he look into that matter?

Mr. Brooke

I am not sure that I can accept the second part of the hon. Member's supplementary question, but upon the issue as a whole I think the House will realise that we have to be very careful how far we go in asking all taxpayers, many of whom are also suffering hardship, to pay higher taxes in order to relieve the position of public service pensioners exclusively.