Is the hon. Member aware that that reply clearly shows that the Government are failing to fulfil their election pledge that National Insurance benefits would be linked to average earnings? Can he say what reaction there has been to the strong criticism coming from his academic supporters to the effect that the social programmes of this Government are substantially worse than what the previous Conservative Government achieved in the social services?
I have never seen any criticism at all coming from our academic supporters about the pension. If the pension had been put up in March, 1965, in line with the rise in average earnings between April, 1963, and October, 1964, the rates would have been 75s. 8d. for a single person and 122s. 2d. for a married couple, whereas we increased them to 80s. and 130s. respectively.