§ 11.23 a.m.
§ Brought from the Commons yesterday, and printed (pursuant to Standing Order No. 48); read 1a.
§ Then, Standing Order No. 44 having been dispensed with (pursuant to Resolution):
§ LORD ABERDARE
My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill be now read a second time. I think your Lordships are well aware of the reasons for the Bill and that in view of its urgency you will be prepared to pass it through all its stages fairly quickly.
Your Lordships may like to know that nearly 7,700.000 retirement pensioners and others have already received the £10 payments, or will do so before Christmas, and I should like to pay a very sincere tribute to the staff of the Post Office and of my own Department who have made this possible. As your Lordships know, there are some retirement pensioners who did not receive the £10 because they happened to be enjoying high earnings in the week preceding December 4. About 7,000 of them were affected, and this Bill will ensure that they will not be disappointed and will in fact get their £10. I beg to move.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.—(Lord Aberdare.)
§ BARONESS PHILLIPS
My Lords, I should like to thank the Minister for introducing this Bill and also add my word of congratulations and thanks to the staff of the Post Office, and others concerned. They have a very heavy job to perform in this connection all the year round. This must have been an added burden for them at a heavy time of year. Of course I cannot resist saying to the noble Lord that if the Government in their wisdom would only abolish the earnings rule there would be no need for this Bill and this complication.
§ On Question, Bill read 2a: Committee negatived; Bill read 3a, and passed.