§ Mr. Higgins
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he proposes to take to ensure that pensioners and others who need to draw on savings in order to pay their bills and are prevented from so doing by industrial action by civil servants are not penalised.
§ Mr. Denzil Davies
The Government deeply regret any hardship, anxiety or inconvenience to savers resulting from delays in certain types of payments in National Savings securities because of industrial action by a few civil servants and accept that some recompense should be paid for this delay. The exact terms and arrangements are under consideration. Unfortunately, however, pending an end to the industrial action there is no longer any way of making exceptional payments of the types affected in cases of hardship. I very much hope that savers for whom delayed payments may pose serious problems will be able either to look to alternative sources of finance or to reach an accommodation with those concerned about the payment of any bills whose settlement relies on the receipt of delayed National Savings payments. I trust that requests for such assistance will receive a sympathetic hearing.