§ Before I turn to my taxation proposals I should like to mention one matter which is not technically a budgetary issue, but is still highly relevant in human and economic terms to the way I use the surplus. There is one group of people whom I have felt it my special responsibility to consider. They are the public service pensioners: the retired teacher, civil servant, local government officer, National Health Service officer, policeman, fireman and others, and also the Service pensioners of Her Majesty's Forces and their widows.
§ Very many of them were helped by the Pensions (Increase) Act of 1956, and the corresponding Royal Warrants, but, now that there are signs of easement in the economy, I am sure that the Committee would feel it right that we should take another look at their position and see what additional help can be given. I am inviting representatives of local authorities to enter into consultation at once and I hope that it may then be possible to put proposals for legislation before the House within a few weeks.