HC Deb 21 March 1955 vol 538 cc1716-7
2. Mr. Houghton

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance if he will take steps to bring the needs test for the non-contributory pension and the assumed rates of interest on the capital resources of applicants into line with present conditions.

Mr. Peake

I would refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Accrington (Mr. H. Hynd) on 21st February.

Mr. Houghton

Has the right hon. Gentleman overlooked the fact that his party made a pledge to do this very thing in a pamphlet bearing the misleading title of "The Right Road for Britain"? When may we expect the right hon. Gentleman to honour that pledge?

Mr. Peake

The proposal, as I think the hon. Member is aware, was embodied in the Conservative election manifesto for the 1950 General Election but not repeated in its manifesto for the 1951 General Election. I am extremely surprised to find that the hon. Gentleman, whom I have always regarded as rather progressive, has now only got as far as the Conservative Party had got in 1950.

Miss Ward

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that he gave a pledge at the Conservative Party Conference at Margate about the small income groups, and will he also bear in mind that I am expecting that pledge to be implemented before very long?