HC Deb 12 May 1964 vol 695 cc203-4
12. Dame Irene Ward

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many temporary civil servants are involved in the new settlement for pensions; and what is the estimated cost.

Mr. Maudling

About 600 temporary civil servants should benefit from this scheme immediately and about a further 7,500 could do so over the next 15 years.

It is impossible to estimate the cost precisely but it will be well under £1 million a year at the period of greatest expenditure.

Dame Irene Ward

Will my right hon. Friend accept my thanks for this rather belated decision? As this is one of the concessions which my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Chertsey (Sir L. Heald), my hon. Friend the Member for Bath (Sir J. Pitman) and myself and other hon. Members have been pressing on successive Chancellors of the Exchequer for years, can my right hon. Friend say why when the announcement is made he should not point out that this is an obligation now accepted by Her Majesty's Government which was refused by a Socialist Government?

Mr. Maudling

My hon. Friend has been extremely active in these matters and I know that all concerned will be grateful to her for the support which she has given. We go on progressively under Conservative Governments improving things year by year.

Mr. Houghton

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that while this settlement is very welcome indeed though belated, as the hon. Lady the Member for Tynemouth (Dame Irene Ward) has just said, nevertheless, in giving credit for past service the handicap of counting only half unestablished service for pension is still retained in this settlement for all service up to July, 1949? Will the right hon. Gentleman take steps to remedy that signal omission from the agreement?

Mr. Maudling

As the hon. Member knows, that is part of a very much wider question.

Captain Elliot

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that there will be a certain number of temporary civil servants who missed the deadline by a few days or a few weeks? Will he treat their cases sympathetically?

Mr. Maudling

I appreciate that this is always the trouble in introducing new arrangements. One has to draw a line somewhere and somebody is bound to get on the wrong side of it. I cannot see a solution to that problem.