§ Mr. Mather
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list the reasons for the omission of the period March to November 1975 in the calculation of pensions increases.
§ Mr. Orme
As my hon. Friend pointed out in his reply to the hon. Member for Rushcliffe (Mr. Clarke) on 12th April—[Vol. 909, c.421]—the pension rates proposed for November 1976 will more 423W than compensate for the actual and likely increases in earnings and prices over the whole of the period since July 1974.
§ Mr. Rooker
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will arrange to pay part of the November increase in retirement pensions as a lump sum to coincide with the lump-sum repayments of income tax to working people due under the next stage of pay policy.
§ Mr. Orme
No. This would not be appropriate; the essential purpose of the rise in retirement pensions in November is to increase the week-by-week income of pensioners. But my hon. Friend will be aware that pensioners will also benefit from my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer's proposals in the Finance Bill.