The Goverment gave a firm undertaking in another place on 23rd July, 1970, to preserve the tradition of giving special treatment to war pensioners and their widows and to review the rates of war pensions and allowances at two-yearly intervals in the light of economic growth and the cost of living. The last increase was in November, 1969.
Does the hon. Gentleman realise that this is not good enough, that since this Government came to power, because of the fall in the value of money, the 100 per cent. disability pension for people in my constituency has fallen by 3s. 6d.? Since the Government have given notice to the people in high income brackets that they are to benefit from a bonanza because of the reduction of income tax, ought they not to tell these much more deserving people that they will have their increase at a stroke?
The reduction of income tax is not for me and it is certainly irrelevant to this Question. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] Those in most need have been helped by the increase in supplementary benefits which came into operation in the early part of November.
There is no doubt that the reason why we are suffering difficulty, particularly those on fixed incomes, is the total failure of the party opposite to control our economy.
Does the hon. Gentleman not recognise that according to the figures given by his own Department the position of pensioners next November, unless something is done—and this includes war disability pensioners—will be worse than at any time since February, 1965, when my Government brought in the largest ever increases?