HC Deb 16 November 1964 vol 702 cc5-6
6. Mr. Ridsdale

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance if she will abolish the earnings rule for pensioners.

Miss Herbison

No, Sir.

Mr. Ridsdale

Could the right hon. Lady be more selective with regard to pensions increases? If there had not been a flat increase of pensions, surely there could have been a much wider relaxation in the earnings rules. How much would it have cost to put up the earnings rule from £5 to £6?

Miss Herbison

The hon. Gentleman is suggesting that some people who are to have flat-rate increases should not get them. That is the only conclusion one can reach from his supplementary question, because he has suggested that if we had saved money in that direction we could have done away with the earnings rule. The question of raising the amount at which the earnings rule applies will be considered by the Government.

Mr. Lubbock

Is it correct to say that under the present proposals the widow who reaches the age of 60 will suddenly cease to qualify for the abolition of the earnings rule and will, thereafter, have something deducted from her pension? What is the logic of that? Why should a widow at 60 suffer a sudden drop in income?

Miss Herbison

The hon. Gentleman is jumping to conclusions. I ask him to await publication of the Bill.

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