HC Deb 06 February 1973 vol 850 c219
20. Mr. Strang

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will bring forward the increase in pensions due next autumn, in view of the continuing increase in food prices.

Sir K. Joseph

No, Sir. Retirement pensions and other benefits were increased last October and the real increase of nearly 4 per cent. has by no means disappeared since then. Moreover, a special payment of £10 was made to pensioners only two months ago.

Mr. Strang

Is the Minister aware that in the first quarter after that increase, food prices rose at an annual rate of 10 per cent.? As pensioners will have to face more increases in food prices, and as such a high proportion of the pension goes on food, surely it is intolerable that the Minister should say that no pensions will be increased until next autumn.

Sir K. Joseph

Even for pensioners, who admittedly spend more of their income on food than other groups, the rise in food prices in no way corresponds to the rise in the cost of living.