§ Mr. Marlow
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, pursuant to his reply of 26 March, if he will set out the policy considerations involved in his decision not to make retrospective ex-gratia payments to those pensioners with savings up to £16,000.
§ Mrs. Gillian Shephard
The changes in the capital rules for the income-related benefits formed part of a package of measures, designed to help savers, which were announced by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his Budget statement. The changes took effect from the benefit uprating dates in April. It is well-established policy that such changes are not applied retrospectively, with the recalculation of benefit entitlement this would require, and to do so in this case would be neither appropriate nor practical.284W