HC Deb 13 July 1970 vol 803 cc130-1W
Mr. Kilfedder

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether, in view of the difficulties of retirement pensioners and older widows living on £5 a week for single people and £8 2s. 0d. a week for married couples, he will make an immediate increase on these rates to enable them to pay current prices of food and clothes, and take into account the burden of rates on pensioners living in homes which they bought when employed.

Mr. Dean

The supplementary benefits scale rates, with an allowance for rent added, are higher than the retirement pension rates, and they are to be increased in the first week of November under Regulations made with all-party agreement during the last Parliament. I would urge any retirement pensioners who think they may be eligible to claim a supplementary pension. Those not so entitled may qualify for a rate rebate, which will alleviate the burden of rates. My right hon. Friend has no immediate plans for a general increase in the retirement pension.

Mr. William Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when he intends to introduce his legislation to grant pensions to all those over 80 years of age; and whether such payments will be made on some criteria of need.

Mr. Dean

Our proposals were fully explained in the Second Reading Debate on the National Insurance (Old Persons' and Widows' Pensions and Attendance Allowance) Bill on Friday.