HC Deb 17 February 1958 vol 582 cc850-1
41. Dame Irene Ward

asked the Paymaster-General whether he will sanction the extension of the provisions of the Local Government Superannuation Act, 1953, in respect of widows' pensions to gas and electricity manual workers covered by the Local Government Superannuation Act, 1937.

Sir I. Horobin

Yes, Sir. It will now be possible for such workers to surrender part of their retirement pension in favour of a widows' pension. There will be no increase in the contribution payable either by the employers or by the workers.

Dame Irene Ward

In thanking my hon. Friend for this pleasant piece of progress, may I ask whether he is aware that it will give great satisfaction to both the unions and the boards, which have been negotiating on this matter for a considerable time? Will he ask his noble Friend in the Cabinet to continue his good work in helping those who want to help those who are living on small incomes?

Sir I. Horobin

Certainly, we hope, in the long years which lie before the Government—[interruption.]—but we must not under-estimate the importance of the information which I have been able to give just now. It may interest my hon. Friend to know that under these arrangements about 90,000 electricity and gas workers will be able to do something very sensible that they want to do, and with their own money. That seems to me a very useful further contribution of Conservative social reform.