§ Mrs. Castle
I beg to ask leave to present a Petition on behalf of the old-age pensioners of this country. The Petition contains the names of over 650,000 men and women who are deeply concerned at the plight of the pensioners.
The Petition sheweth that those sections of the community who are in receipt of a basic retirement pension are suffering great hardship on account of the increase in the cost of living, and demands an immediate increase in the pension to £7.50 for a single person and £12.50 for a married couple, and asks that the retirement pension be tied to a cost-of-living index and thereafter be reviewed annually.
In view of the erosion of the value of the recent increase in the pension even before it came into operation, and in view of the further erosion which will undoubtedly take place as a result of this Government's determination to take the country into the European Economic Community, the position of our pen- 978 sioners has become desperate. The Petition therefore concludes:Wherefore your Petitioners pray that legislation should be passed forthwith for the relief of pensioners and those who may hereafter become entitled to retirement pension by raising the basic rate to the extent necessary to meet the essential amenities of life.And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray.To lie upon the Table.