§ 16. Mr. Stallard
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what representations he has received on clause 1 of the Social Security Bill.
§ 21. Mr. Foulkes
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what representations has he received on clause 1 of the Social Security Bill.
§ Mr. Stallard
Does the hon. Gentleman accept that that amounts to representations from virtually all the pensioners in Britain? Does he acknowledge that they are all agreed that the charge levelled by the Government that pensioners and other beneficiaries have been over-provided for is a wicked travesty of the facts, as revealed in any study of the pensioners' price index and other statistics? Will he give the House an assurance that during the passage of the Social Security Bill, which is now in Committee, he will seek to introduce an amendment that makes provision to pay back any shortfall that might arise in future?
§ Mr. Rossi
The hon. Gentleman is right in saying that representations have been received from various pensioner organisations. They are all concerned with the 1 per cent. clawback. The hon. Gentleman will know that my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has given an undertaking on future shortfalls. There is provision in existing legislation to deal with them should they arise.
§ Mr. Foulkes
Does the Minister agree that heating costs form a large part of the pensioners' budget? As the cost of electricity and gas is increasing by more than twice the increase in pensions, will he tell me how an ordinary pensioner with no income other than the basic pension will be able to pay the additional heating costs?