HC Deb 16 November 1964 vol 702 cc1-3
1. Mr. Fletcher-Cooke

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance if she will ensure that Christmas bonus granted to retirement pensioners in part-time employment is not taken into account for the purposes of the earnings rule.

The Minister of Pensions and National Insurance (Miss Margaret Herbison)

This is a complicated matter which has been considered in the past, but I am urgently re-examining it.

Mr. Fletcher-Cooke

Does the right hon. Lady realise how grateful we are that she is urgently re-examining it? Can she offer any chance of having her examination through in time for these people to benefit from it?

Miss Herbison

I cannot say definitely yes, but I am doing my best to have the examination completed.

2. Sir J. Langford-Holt

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance what level is accepted by her Department as being that to which it would be necessary to raise the retirement pension of a single person to enable the recipient to live without any other source of income.

Miss Herbison

As the hon. Gentleman will be aware, we have announced that as an immediate measure we propose to make a very substantial increase in the rates of retirement pensions and other benefits. Thereafter we shall consider other issues, including the point raised by the hon. Gentleman.

Sir J. Langford-Holt

Is it not the policy of the right hon. Lady to ensure that all pensioners, regardless of outside source of income, shall have enough to live on? All I am asking is: what is enough as of today's date?

Miss Herbison

It is our policy, but the hon. Gentleman must await further announcements on the development of that policy.

Mr. Sydney Silverman

Could my right hon. Friend tell me whether when she entered upon her present office—and we all congratulate her on her appointment—she found any material collected by the former Administration on which she could found an answer to the present Question?

Miss Herbison

None at all.

25. Mr. Turton

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance how many retirement pensioners were receiving assistance in supplementation of pension on 30th June, 1964; and the average amount of the supplementary allowances received by retirement pensioners.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance (Mr. Norman Pentland)

About 1,115,000. The estimated average grant was 22s. 2d. at 29th September, 1964. Some of these grants provided for the requirements of more than one pensioner—i.e. a married couple.

Mr. Turton

Will the hon. Gentleman confirm that most of these cases are the older pensioners, and in the forthcoming legislation will his right hon. Friend include provision for higher pensions for the older pensioners?

Mr. Pentland

No, Sir.

Forward to