HC Deb 24 April 1963 vol 676 cc190-1
2. Mr. E. Johnson

asked the Secretary of State for War how much retired pay is received by a major who retired on the 1945 code and is now 59 years of age, and by a major who retired yesterday, assuming that both completed maximum service; and how much terminal grant each officer would have received on retirement.

The Under-Secretary of State and Financial Secretary for War (Mr. James Ramsden)

£475 and £930 per year; none and £2,790.

Mr. Johnson

Is it not apparent from that Answer and from other Answers to similar Questions that the older retired members of the Armed Services of all ranks and their widows are getting a very bad deal compared with those who retire today? Will my hon. Friend take note of the very strong feeling about this matter on both sides of the House, and will he do something about it?

Mr. Ramsden

I will certainly take note of what my hon. Friend has said, but I should remind him and the House of two points. When the first major in his example reaches the age of 60, he will get the benefit of pension increases bringing his retired pay to £689 a year. Having retired, as he must have done, at 47 or sooner, such a man could reasonably be expected to supplement his retired pay by having some form of paid employment. That is one of the reasons why 60 has been made the effective age for pensions increases.

Mr. Paget

Does that not equally apply to the man who retires today? Is not this grossly unjust? Are we not at some time to adopt the principle of the same pension for the same service and not penalise these men because the Government have depreciated the currency?

Mr. Ramsden

The hon. and learned Member is always lecturing me about honest money. I do not believe that his own side's record stands up too well in this connection. If he goes on doing so, some rather firmer support for an incomes policy from his side of the House would be welcome.