asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that many old age pensioners, who are still capable of useful work, find that they will lose their old age pension if the money they earn brings them above the minimum qualifying income for a non-contributory old age pension; and will he amend the regulations for the period of the war so that such earnings shall be disregarded in determining claims for old age pensions?
Entitlement to an old age pension is affected by means only in the case of non-contributory pensions awarded at the age of 70 to persons without contributory rights. This matter has been carefully considered at intervals since the outbreak of war in the light of the labour supply position but the conclusion has been reached that the advantage to be gained would not be such as to justify the change.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that it is quite wrong that when people of 70 are willing to make their contribution to the war effort they should be penalised in this way, and, as a war measure, could not he give the matter further consideration?
I shall be glad to look at it again, but we have looked at it several times.
On a point of Order. Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that not one word he says is audible in this part of the House?
Come over on this side, and you will hear then.