HC Deb 21 May 1980 vol 985 cc501-2
55. Mr. Broce-Gardyne

asked the Minister for the Civil Service whether he has yet concluded his review arrangements for independent reviewing of the Government Actuary's computation of the value of pension indexation; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Channon

A detailed announcement will be made very shortly. The inquiry will start work as soon as possible after that.

Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

This seems to be taking an unconscionable time. Will my hon. Friend confirm that the Conservative Party was committed at the last general election to the proposition that the arrangements for index linkage of public service pensions should be put on a basis which bears comparison with the situation in the private sector?

Mr. Channon

I do not think that it is right for me to comment on what the inquiry may find. I can assure my hon. Friend that his tabling of this question has activated the Government's mind with great rapidity, and I hope that he will have a happy Whitsun when he sees what happens.

Mr. Dykes

Is my hon. Frend aware that, with the recent increase in inflation, the amount of capital needed to buy a top civil servant's pension, even with early retirement, would be almost £500,000? Does not that stick in the gullets of most people?

Mr. Channon

I do not recognise that figure, but that is the sort of evidence that the inquiry will wish to consider. I hope that my hon. Friend will submit evidence to it.

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