HC Deb 12 July 1965 vol 716 cc23-4
23. Mr. Jackson

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance what progress she has made in her plans to abolish the graduated pensions scheme.

34. Mr. Boston

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance what progress she is making in her plans to replace the existing graduated pensions scheme.

Miss Herbison

Future arrangements for graduated pensions form an important part of the Government's review of the whole National Insurance scheme, which is proceeding as rapidly as possible.

Mr. Jackson

Can my right hon. Friend give an assurance that the pension scheme which we shall introduce, a wage-related pension scheme, will bear no similarity to the graduated pension scheme of the Tory Party, which many people consider was wrongly organised?

Miss Herbison

I think that all hon. Members will know what our attitude has been to the present scheme. The scheme to be introduced by a Labour Government will be very different indeed.

Mr. Boston

Does my right hon. Friend agree that the former Conservative Government's graduated scheme is really nothing more than a form of revenue-raising, a form of taxation? Does she not also think that, far from being a proper graduated scheme, it is what one might call a permanently undergraduated scheme, and that, like the perpetual student, it never reaches maturity?

Miss Herbison

It would reach maturity only in the next century. I hope that our scheme will reach maturity very much sooner.

Mr. William Clark

In view of the fact that the Labour Government have already had three goes at a graduated pension scheme, may we be assured by the Minister that next time they are going to do something their arithmetic will be right?

Miss Herbison

Such "smart Alec" questions do not get anywhere. At least the Labour Party in opposition was doing the kind of fundamental thinking on these questions that the former Tory Government refused to do.