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War Pensions (Cost Of Living)

Volume 437: debated on Tuesday 13 May 1947

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asked the Minister of Pensions whether the Government invoked the cost-of-living index figures relating to the bare needs of a family in 1904 and, since the Government arc revising the cost-of-living index figure, whether a corresponding increase in the basic pension of disabled ex-Serviceman will be made when this figure has been agreed to, as last year's increase was based on the present cost-of-living index figures.

I would refer the hon. Member to my hon. Friend's statement on War Pensions (Cost of Living) in the Debate on the Motion for the Adjournment of the House on 1st May.

Is the Minister not aware that the pensions of disabled ex-Servicemen are a sacred obligation which this country cannot afford to ignore, and is it fair that this Question should be answered in this way; I have put down a specific Question and I thought that at Question time specific Questions demanded specific answers. Can the hon. Gentleman give me an answer with regard to the cost-of-living basis?

First, I cannot accept the premise in the Question and, second, the hon. Member will find a very full answer to the whole problem of the cost-of-living estimate made for ex-Service personnel in the Debate on the Adjournment to which I have referred him.

Does the Minister realise that these ex-Servicemen are suffering great hardship because of these figures?

I understand that there has been great satisfaction in the country at the very wide changes which have been made by this Administration.

Does the Minister realise that in my constituency there are several disabled men living in conditions of grave want?

May we know what was the basis of the calculation, since I have really had no answer at all to this question?

The matter is thoroughly unsatisfactory, and I shall raise it on the Adjournment. It is a scandal.