HC Deb 29 January 1981 vol 997 cc508-9W
Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services why the earnings rule applies to the normal retired pensioner who retires but not to pensioners in the House of Lords so far as their attendance allowances and other payments when taking Government appointments are concerned.

Mr. Rossi

Payments which are by way of reasonable reimbursement of expenses on the part of the holder of an unpaid office do not count as earnings from a gainful employment for purposes of the retirement pensioners' earnings rule. Expenses allowances paid to noble lords in another place fall within this category. Whether other payments are earnings for the purpose of the earnings rule depends on the nature of those payments. For example, salaries paid to noble lords in another place in respect of their duties as Ministers of the Crown are earnings for this purpose.