§ 9. Mrs. Castle
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will review public service pensions in order to make the necessary adjustments to meet the increase in the cost of living since the last review in the Pensions (Increase) Act of 1962.
§ Mrs. Castle
Is the Financial Secretary aware that the cost of living has risen by 2½ per cent. since the last increase was put on these pensions? Does not he agree that the least we can do for former members of the police force, or other public service pensioners, is to see that there is a regular annual review of their pensions so that they do not suffer an actual reduction in their standard of living?
§ Dame Irene Ward
In view of the Answer I was given on the last occasion, 202 can my hon. Friend tell me whether he has now considered the problem of the increase in the price of coal? The problem is that these people do not have a place to store coal in the summer, and will therefore have to pay highly increased winter prices. What is the answer to that?
§ Mr. Callaghan
Does not the Financial Secretary think that it is time that the Government took into account the growing arrangements existing in the public services and elsewhere for a regular review of remuneration? Is he aware that there is a strong and growing feeling that there should be a similar arrangement for a regular review of the pensions of public servants? Would he please undertake to examine that possibility, and give the House a report?
§ Mr. Callaghan
Does not the hon. Gentleman realise that there is a growing feeling that hon. Members should not have to importune Ministers on this sort of matter every time? While the hon. Gentleman says that there have been discussions in the past, may I ask him the specific question whether the Government are going into the matter now to see whether there can be a regular review of public service pensions at fixed intervals as in the case of other public service remuneration?
§ Mr. Green
This has been debated many times in the past. No entirely satisfactory form of review machinery has yet been devised, as my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury has already informed the House. It does not follow that because one has a regular reviewing machinery pensioners are necessarily better off. It depends upon the terms under which we have that review, and this is one of the matters which are being considered.