HC Deb 10 November 1964 vol 701 cc808-9
3. Dame Irene Ward

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer when a Pensions Increases Act giving parity to public service pensioners will be introduced.

6. Mr. Ridsdale

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proposals he has to help public service pensioners.

Mr. Diamond

The Government are considering the position of public service pensioners. I have no announcement to make at present.

Dame Irene Ward

May I ask my hon. Friend—[Laughter.]—I am, perhaps, being a litle more polite than some people were yesterday. May I ask the hon. Gentleman whether I am right in assuming that there will be an Act covering the promises and pledges, very frequently given during the election campaign, that parity will be attached to the public service pensions, and may I ask when we are going to hear that that is the policy of Her Majesty's Government?

Mr. Diamond

Well, certainly not today. I do not think that I can anticipate the contents of a future pensions increase Measure today.

Mr. Ridsdale

As the policy revealed in the Queen's Speech is likely to be so inflationary, is the hon. Gentleman aware of the anxiety of public service pensioners to get parity as soon as possible? In any event, can he assure us that when the Government cover this point, they will try to have biennial reviews?

Mr. Diamond

As to the first part of the question, of course that will be taken into account. As to the second part, I will certainly see that it is given the fullest consideration.

Mr. Jennings

Will the Chief Secretary to the Treasury not acknowledge that a great injustice exists for those public service pensioners who have been retired for a long time on pensions based on small salaries? Does he realise that this is a grave and urgent matter, and will he be prepared to receive a deputation from the Public Service Pensioners Council quite soon to discuss the question of parity?

Mr. Diamond

I am conscious that this has been a matter of criticism for a long time, going back even prior to 15th October. As to the second part of the question, I will be only too glad to receive a deputation if that is the wish of the hon. Member.

Mr. Jennings

I thank the hon. Gentleman.