§ 87. Mr. Haire
asked the Minister of National Insurance whether, in order to assist old age pensioners to augment their income by occasional earnings, she will introduce legislation to increase the allowance for casual work to £2 or higher, before disqualification for a retirement pension becomes effective.
88 and 89. Lieut.-Commander Hutchison
asked the Minister of National Insurance (1) whether she will raise the maximum limit for earnings which a woman over 60, but under 65, in receipt of a retirement pension may earn, without reduction of pension, from 20s. to 60s. in any pensions week;
(2) whether she will raise the maximum limit for earnings which a man over 65, but under 70, in receipt of a retirement pension may earn, without reduction of pension, from 20s. to 60s. in any pensions week.
Mr. B. Taylor
One of the objects of the retirement pension provisions of the National Insurance Act, by providing larger pensions for those who go on working, is to encourage, in the national interest, continuance in regular full-time employment beyond minimum pension age. An earnings rule is an essential part of these provisions because, without such48W a rule, a person could notionally retire and thereafter earn such an amount that it would be impossible to decide whether he had retired from work or not. The figure of 20s. was fixed on the basis that for this and other purposes of the National Insurance Acts it was a reasonable measure of an employment which could be ignored. The suggestions put forward in these Questions would be inconsistent with this conception and might well tempt people deliberately to choose a life on pension supplemented by part-time earnings in place of regular full-time work, which is so much more important in the national interest. Some of the suggestions would amount to abolishing the retirement condition entirely and so reverse one of the major decisions embodied in the National Insurance Acts.