HC Deb 03 July 1961 vol 643 cc999-1000
36. Mrs. Castle

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance whether he will arrange for salesmen and others earning bonuses and commissions on a yearly basis to average these out retrospectively on a weekly basis in order that by retrospective additions to their contributions to the graduated pensions scheme, they may qualify for higher contributions under the scheme.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

No, Sir. I know of no way of doing this which would give the employer a clear and workable basis for calculating the liability.

Mrs. Castle

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that it has always been the custom in the retail and distributive trade for managers and other sales staff—buyers, and so on—to receive a commission on sales, calculated at the end of the year, in addition to their weekly wage, and that this could be quite large and would affect their weekly or monthly salaries if it were calculated on a weekly or monthly basis? Is not the only drawback to the carrying out of the suggestion contained in my Question the fact that it would cause a little inconvenience to employers? Could not the convenience and well-being of the employees also be considered?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

It would cause very great difficulty. If the hon. Lady pauses to consider what would be involved in making retrospective contributions in respect of people who may not at the material time be still in one's employ, I think that she will understand the practical difficulties which arise. I sympathise with her desire that people should be able to contribute more fully to the scheme. This shows a much more realistic view of it than those of her right hon. Friends who describe it as "a swindle".

Back to