HC Deb 26 November 1962 vol 668 c15
19. Mr. Snow

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance whether he will review the maximum earning allowance of wives of old-age pensioners who are below the age of sixty, in view of the loss to educational and hospital authorities of many useful workers who are at present discouraged by the £2 limit.

The Minister of Pensions and National Insurance (Mr. Niall Macpherson)

I assume that the hon. Member is referring to the amount of a wife's earnings which is disregarded in deciding whether her husband is entitled to an increase of his national insurance benefit for her as a dependant. I can assure the hon. Member that I am keeping this amount under review.

Mr. Snow

While acknowledging that a change in the earnings allowance—which, I think, the Minister understands—may require the revision of the existing pensions structure, may I ask whether the Minister is aware that this is National Productivity Year, and that the existing regulations mean that many able-bodied women are leaving useful jobs which certain local authorities very much need done?

Mr. Macpherson

We have no evidence that this is causing a shortage of women part-time employees, but I will certainly take note of the hon. Gentleman's point.

Mr. Snow

I sent the right hon. Gentleman a case.