asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what steps he has taken or intends to take shortly to offset for pensioners and those on supplementary benefit the increase in prices occasioned by (a) withdrawal of Government subsidies and (b) increased EEC prices.
As my right hon. Friend said in reply to a Question from the right hon. Member for Wanstead and Woodford (Mr. Jenkin) on 6th April—[Vol. 929, c. 568–9]—he has recently reviewed the benefits payable under the Social Security Act 1975 and will be bringing forward proposals for a general uprating of contributory and supplementary benefits, to take effect in November. In that uprating he is required by the Act to raise retirement pensions and other long-term benefits in line with earnings or prices, whichever is more favourable to the pensioner, and the calculation of price increases for this purpose will take account of those mentioned by my hon. Friend.