§ Mr. T. SMITH
asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that Civil Service pre-war pensioners are suffering hardship in consequence of their low rate of pensions; that their pensions are much smaller than those of post-war pensioners; what is the approximate percentage difference of the pensions of the two classes; and whether he can reconsider generally the case of pre-war pensioners?
§ Mr. W. S. MORRISON
As regards the first part of the question, Parliament enacted provisions for the increase of these pensions in the Pensions (Increase) Act, 1924, since which year there has been a material fall in the cost of living. As regards the second and third parts, it is not possible, in view of the extensive reorganisations and other changes which have taken place since the War, to calculate the average difference between a Civil Service pension as increased by the Pensions (Increase) Acts and the pension which would have been awarded at a later date. I may point out, however, that when the percentages of increase were raised in 1924, it was found necessary to limit the increase by reference to the amount of the award which would have been made if retirement had taken place in 1923. As regards the fourth part, it has been repeatedly stated by successive Governments that further legislation to amend the Pensions (Increase) Acts cannot be contemplated, the last occasion being the reply given on the 31st January, 1935, by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Armagh. I can hold out no hope that the matter can be reopened.