§ 38. Mr. Palmer
asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if, in view of the publication of the Pensions (Increase) Bill proposing an improvement in the pensions of various classes of public servants, he will make a statement on a comparable improvement in pension schemes taken over under the Electricity Act, 1947, and the Gas Act, 1948.
§ Mr. Aubrey Jones
Responsibility for reviewing pension schemes and initiating any changes rests with the boards.
§ Mr. Palmer
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that his predecessor gave me an assurance in this House that the rates of pensions of electricity and gas pensioners are being looked at, and is not his present answer a contradiction of the answer I received in this House from his predecessor?
§ Mr. Jones
I cannot be aware of what my predecessor has said on that—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh"] I understand it was said privately, which is a different matter. However, as I understand the position, the Central Electricity Authority has submitted proposals adjusting pensions in the light of the Pensions (Increase) Act, 1952. Those are now before me and, in due course, I shall give judgment, but that has nothing to do with the new Pensions (Increase) Bill.
§ Mr. Palmer
In the light of that answer, can I expect from the right hon. Gentleman a statement on this important matter quite soon?
§ Dame Irene Ward
Why is it that the Minister of Transport has power in certain circumstances to make regulations? Am I to understand that my right hon. Friend has not got similar powers? If not, will he seek them, in view of the Prime Minister's speech at Bradford about the small fixed income groups?