§ 2.16 p.m.
§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.
§ THE MINISTER OF ECONOMIC WARFARE (THE EARL OF SELBORNE)
My Lords, this Bill can be described as a consequential Bill—consequential on the great Act which your Lordships passed last year. Its main purpose is to bring the superannuation legislation of teachers into conformity with the lay-out of the education system and with the new nomenclature adopted under the Education Act. For instance, under the Education Act "public elementary schools" and "certificated teachers" will cease to exist, but these terms are used in the existing superannuation legislation.
At the same time the Bill makes one or two small changes and improvements in teachers' pensions to which I ought to draw your Lordships' attention. One improvement that it makes will I am sure be welcome to many of your Lordships. It enables the full-time services of persons employed in running Youth Service clubs and community centres—and youth services conducted by grant-aided voluntary associations are included—those who give whole-time service to this admirable work (which is quasi-educational), to be treated as pensionable. Clauses 3 to 6 of the Bill are very involved and difficult for a layman to understand, but their effect is to enable all supplementary teachers to qualify for pensions. At present, through some extraordinary anomaly, only some supplementary teachers are eligible for pension. This Bill rectifies what is an obvious injustice.
The Second Schedule of the Bill enables teachers to be seconded for other work for a period of up to five years and yet to retain their pension rights. That I 986 think is a feature which will commend itself to my noble friend Lord Trenchard, for it is in conformity with some very interesting suggestions which he made to Your Lordships not long ago. There was no opposition to this Bill in the other House and I hope that your Lordships also will be willing to give it a Second Reading. The additional cost of the pensions and the changes made by the Bill is represented by a capital sum of £650,000 spread over a period of years of which about £550,000 will fall on the Exchequer. In addition the annual charges that will fall on the Exchequer will ultimately amount to a sum of about £58,000. I hope your Lordships will agree that this is not an undue price to pay for the remedying of anomalies in the present pensions system for teachers and I therefore commend the Bill to the House.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.—(The Earl of Selborne.)
§ LORD SOUTHWOOD
My Lords, may I say that this Bill also has the unqualified support of my noble friends on these Benches?
§ On Question, Bill read 2a, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House.