HC Deb 23 October 1967 vol 751 cc1324-5
14. Lord Balniel

asked the Minister of Social Security whether she will ensure that all interested parties and professional bodies who wish to do so may give evidence to the Government for the purposes of their review of social security.

5. Mr. Longden

asked the Minister of Social Security when the Government's comprehensive review of the social security scheme will be published.

8. Mr. William Hamilton

asked the Minister of Social Security if she will make a statement on the progress made in abolishing the graduated pension scheme introduced before October, 1964, and its replacement by a new scheme of graduated contributions and graduated benefits.

Mrs. Hart

The review has already resulted in a number of important reforms and improvements. Others, including a new earnings-related pensions scheme, will be brought forward as they are ready.

As has been made clear previously, the Government are always glad to study evidence submitted on matters covered by the review.

Lord Balniel

Why did the right hon. Member for Sowerby (Mr. Houghton), who was at one time in charge of the social security review, express his own personal very strong regret that an outside body had not been appointed to which outside organisations could give evidence?

Mrs. Hart

I do not think that it is for me to examine the precise thoughts of my right hon. Friend. I can only say that I am in normal and regular contact with a number of the organisations and bodies which are naturally extremely interested in what our thoughts are going to be. They convey their thoughts to us. When we have a broad framework worked out, they will be invited to comment. Equally, we are glad to receive any views from any of them now.

Mr. William Hamilton

Can my right hon. Friend now give an assurance that, long before the next election, there will be legislation to get rid of what we in the Labour Party have described as a Tory swindle—the graduated contribution pension scheme?

Mrs. Hart

I assure my hon. Friend that we have every intention of getting the necessary legislation through within the present Parliament.