Up-Rating Orders

Orders or the Day – in the House of Commons at 5:06 pm on 12th January 1988.

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'(1) It is hereby declared that the orders to which this section applies were validly made and that the Secretary of State is under no duty to revoke them.(2) The orders to which this section applies are—

  1. (a) the Social Security Benefits Up-rating (No. 2) Order 1987;
  2. (b) the Occupational Pensions (Revaluation) Order 1987.'—[Mr. Scott.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

Photo of Mr Nicholas Scott Mr Nicholas Scott , Chelsea 5:34 pm, 12th January 1988

I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

Photo of Mr Harold Walker Mr Harold Walker , Doncaster Central

With this it will be convenient to consider Government amendments Nos. 19 to 21.

Photo of Mr Nicholas Scott Mr Nicholas Scott , Chelsea

The amendments are consequential on the new clause.

The House knows that the error in the calculation of the retail price index has had an effect on the levels of social security benefits. Indeed, in the statement that I made to the House on 18 December I set out our plans for special payments and we are pressing ahead with those arrangements. I made clear our full recognition of our moral obligation in the matter and that we were doing something about it, but the House has recognised that we were not bound legally to make these payments, and that we acted in good faith in basing the benefit rates of payment on the RPI as published.

Nevertheless, we believe that it is desirable to introduce an amendment to the Bill to put beyond doubt the validity of the levels set out in the uprating order which will come into effect in April. That will be the effect of the new clause, and it is because we want to do it at the earliest opportunity that we are introducing it on Report.

Similar considerations apply to the Occupational Pensions (Revaluation) Order, which likewise requires an increase in line with prices.

I believe that the reasons for the new clause are well understood and I commend it to the House.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause read a Second time, and added to the Bill.