Orders of the Day — Retired Persons (Cost of Living)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 27th June 1952.

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Photo of Miss Irene Ward Miss Irene Ward , Tynemouth 12:00 am, 27th June 1952

I will, of course, leave that point. Last night, however, you asked for guidance on the subject of the alteration of the income of non-contributory pensioners. If I remember rightly, though it was early in the morning, you were told, Mr. Speaker, that that could be altered by regulation and that, there- fore, it could be raised on the Adjournment. If my first point is out of order I will proceed to my second suggestion, which I do not think will be out of order.

I should like to ask my hon. Friend whether he will enter into conference with the representatives of the nationalised boards with a view to ameliorating the conditions of the people who are on superannuation and who are, so to speak, the responsibility of those boards. I noticed, for instance, that the trade unions were called into consultation by the Financial Secretary in connection with the Pensions (Increase) Bill. If the trade unions gladly co-operate with the Government, I see no reason why the employers cannot co-operate with the Government too.

Another point is that it is about time that the conditions on which National Assistance is granted should be examined in the light of present-day circumstances. It is true that we have increased National Assistance scales. That is of benefit to a large number of people. But I noticed that in the Pensions (Increase) Bill we propose to raise the limit of income so that more people may benefit. If that can be done for one section of the community, then the conditions under which National Assistance is granted could be examined so that possibly benefits could accrue to this other section of the community.