§ 73. Mr. Wade
asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance whether, in view of the anomalies to which the earnings rule gives rise, both in the case of widows and in the case of those who have reached retirement age, and in view of the continuing shortage of skilled and semi-skilled workers in some parts of the country which could be eased if the earnings rule did not apply, he will now take all necessary steps to bring about the abolition of the earnings rule.
§ Mr. Wood
No. To abolish the earnings rule would cost £110 million in the first full year and would require a considerable increase in contributions. It is debatable whether abolition would ease labour shortages. While some pensioners might be encouraged to do more work, other people now deferring retirement 13W might be content to retire and rely on part-time work which with the pension would provide the same level of income.