§ Mr. Paton
In view of the quite small sum—I think the right hon. Gentleman will agree with me in this case—which would be involved, will the Chancellor look at the proposal, or something very much like it, very closely, because if it could be brought about it would undoubtedly bring substantial reliefs to a number of people who are living in very straitened circumstances in their old age.
Again, I think that the hon. Gentleman thinks in terms of bigger figures than I do. I think that this is an important figure. Of course, no Government have been able to consider pensions as other than income. The 184 pensioners are given earned income relief, but, incidentally, the hon. Gentleman's suggestion would help those with higher incomes more than it would those with lower incomes.
§ Dame Irene Ward
Can my right hon. Friend tell me whether considerations of this kind—not necessarily this specific suggestion—with regard to helping those who are living on small fixed incomes are now being looked at by him in view of the election pledge that we gave to try to help the elderly who are living on small fixed incomes?
Yes, indeed, Sir. I think that I can assure my hon. Friend that that is certainly always in our minds. My hon. Friend will agree that in the Finance Act, 1958, we took two actions which were of very definite assistance to the elderly living on small fixed incomes.