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Earnings Rule

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 27th April 1964.

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Photo of Mr John Robertson Mr John Robertson , Paisley 12:00 am, 27th April 1964

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance what would be the estimated cost of allowing men in receipt of a National Insurance pension to earn an extra 20s. weekly before applying the earnings rule.

Photo of Mrs Margaret Thatcher Mrs Margaret Thatcher , Finchley

About £½ million a year.

Photo of Mr John Robertson Mr John Robertson , Paisley

Does the hon. Lady not agree that this is not too great a cost for lessening the anxieties which accrue to, and adding to the enjoyment of, old-age pensioners? Is her right hon. Friend contemplating a review of the situation?

Hon. Members:

Where would the tax come from?

Photo of Mrs Margaret Thatcher Mrs Margaret Thatcher , Finchley

I notice that the hon. Member for Paisley (Mr. J. Robertson) is much more favourable towards women than men. The extra cost would be £2 million a year if it were applied to them as well. The amount was quite recently—last month—put up to 100s., the fourth rise in the last five years, and is now a higher percentage of average earnings than ever before.

Photo of Mr George Lawson Mr George Lawson , Motherwell

Would the hon. Lady tell us by how much the amount is reduced to arrive at that? How much is knocked off?

Photo of Mrs Margaret Thatcher Mrs Margaret Thatcher , Finchley

I cannot deduce the meaning behind that supplementary question.

Photo of Mr George Lawson Mr George Lawson , Motherwell

The earnings rule says how much a man may earn. The amount is not paid on that basis. It is reduced. It is reduced to a given figure which the Board operates. Can the hon. Lady tell us by how much, as a rule, the figure which is first laid down is reduced?

Photo of Mrs Margaret Thatcher Mrs Margaret Thatcher , Finchley

The Question does not arise from National Assistance but from National Insurance pensions. The Question refers to National Insurance pensions and the cost of an extra 20s. weekly before applying the earnings rule.

Several Hon. Members:

rose—

Photo of Mr George Lawson Mr George Lawson , Motherwell

The same rule applies in both cases—

Photo of Sir Harry Hylton-Foster Sir Harry Hylton-Foster , Cities of London and Westminster

We are not doing ourselves credit today. Only 18 Questions have been answered by 3.9 p.m.