§ 9. Mr. Stan Thorne
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what action he intends to take in regard to alleviating poorer people's economic deprivation in the near future.
§ Mr. Thorne
Does not imposing additional charges, partly through rates and mortgages, on those in receipt of supplementary benefit create further hardship for those who are already deprived?
§ Mr. Major
We believe that ultimately the best way to deal with these matters is to put money in people's pockets so that they may meet the charges. The hon. Gentleman picks a curious time to raise that criticism. He will be aware that a substantial uprating of benefits of around 7 per cent. is taking effect later this month.
§ Mr. Alfred Morris
The Secretary of State was studiedly uncommunicative yesterday, as he has been today, about his detailed intentions for the future of SERPS. Can the Minister give a categorical assurance that there is no intention of amending SERPS so as to drop the rule under which every individual's pension is based on his or her best 20 years' earnings? Is he aware of the importance of that rule to very large numbers of severely disabled people and of the concern about its future among the organisations of the disabled?