§ 23. Mr. Gourlay
asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance if he will state the time-lag between the announcement of pension increases and the appointed day in respect of each of the last three increases.
§ Mr. Gourlay
In view of the considerable delay which takes place between the announcement and the implementation of pension increases, and particularly at this time when we have un- 924 warranted hardship among old-age pensioners, would not the Minister consider an immediate announcement of increases in old-age pensions, rather than wait so that he can make an increase in pensions as a bribe before the General Election?
§ Mr. Macpherson
I shall consider the interests of beneficiaries and contributors and of the economy as a whole in judging the right time for making any proposals.
§ 24. Mr. Gourlay
asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance by how much the pension of a married retired pensioner would have to be raised to take account of the rise in the index of retail prices between the date of announcement of the last pension increase and 19th June, 1962.
§ Mr. Gourlay
Is the Minister aware that between the announcement of the previous increase and 19th June, 1962, we have had an increase of about 10 per cent. in the cost of living Since then, the cost of coal has increased considerably and in these particularly cold days pensioners obviously require two bags of coal per week, which alone costs them over 20s.? Does not this in itself justify an immediate increase in pensions?