Widows' Pensions

Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 3rd May 1951.

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Photo of Sir Allan Noble Sir Allan Noble , Chelsea 12:00 am, 3rd May 1951

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in view of the recent increases in the pay of the Armed Forces and in the salaries of other Crown servants, he will now consider some amendment of the Pensions (Increase) Act, 1947, for the benefit of widows.

Photo of Mr Douglas Jay Mr Douglas Jay , Battersea North

I have nothing to add to my right hon. Friend's reply of 24th April to the hon. and gallant Member.

Photo of Sir Allan Noble Sir Allan Noble , Chelsea

Does not the Minister agree that when pensions are based on salaries and on rank, then, if those salaries are, in fact, revised, it is normal to revise the pensions at the same time?

Photo of Mr Douglas Jay Mr Douglas Jay , Battersea North

Only in very exceptional circumstances have the Government ever departed from the principle of basing pensions on salaries.

Photo of Lieut-Commander Joseph Braithwaite Lieut-Commander Joseph Braithwaite , Bristol North West

Does not the extremely sharp rise in the cost of living create exceptional circumstances, and ought not the matter to be reviewed again now?

Photo of Mr Douglas Jay Mr Douglas Jay , Battersea North

Not necessarily. We thought this year that the first claim was that of the ordinary old age pensioners.

Photo of Mr Roland Jennings Mr Roland Jennings , Sheffield, Hallam

Does not the hon. Gentleman agree that these people are suffering undue hardship today and that the matter deserves some consideration?

Photo of Hon. Lancelot Joynson-Hicks Hon. Lancelot Joynson-Hicks , Chichester

If the principle applies to old age pensioners, why not apply it to these pensioners? The principle is exactly the same.

Photo of Mr Douglas Jay Mr Douglas Jay , Battersea North

In all the circumstances, their need is greater, and, therefore, their claim should have first priority.