HC Deb 14 November 1955 vol 546 cc28-9
40. Mr. Palmer

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if he is now able to make a statement on the improvement of pension schemes taken over under the Electricity Act, 1947, and the Gas Act, 1948, which provide inadequate benefit in relation to present living costs.

Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd

No, Sir.

Mr. Palmer

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that I put Questions on this matter on two previous occasions this year and on each occasion he said that he hoped to make statements soon? In the meantime, the cost of living continues to rise, causing tremendous hardship to numbers of people suffering because of his procrastination.

Mr. Lloyd

I understand the point made by the hon. Member, but I would refer him to the fact that on 27th October the Financial Secretary to the Treasury said that the Government are undertaking a review of the position of pensioners benefiting from the Pension Increase Act, 1954. Because of the connection of that subject with the Question that the hon. Member put to me, I must defer any action on my part.

Mr. Nicholson

Is my right hon. Friend aware that these people, although few in number, are suffering considerable hardship, and that the individuals concerned feel that if the rearrangement had not taken place a good employer would have increased their pensions? Is he aware that they feel they have been unjustly treated?

Mr. Lloyd

I appreciate the point made by my hon. Friend very much, and I understand that the announcement to which I have referred will be made shortly.