§ Mr. CROOKS
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will state precisely the present conditions with respect to the income an old age pensioner may earn without forfeiting his pension or a portion of it?
§ Mr. BALDWIN
In accordance with the administrative concessions set out in408W III. of Cd. 8320, action is not being taken in general for reduction or revocation of existing old age pensions in consequence of pensioners in urban districts earning increased wages during the War, so long as their wages and other means taken together do not exceed 30s. a week. Where the wages and other means exceed that limit, the pensioner is invited to surrender his pension order book while he continues his employment, in which case the pension is not withdrawn, and the pension order book is restored at once in the event of the employment ceasing.
As regards pensioners in rural districts, the weekly limit of wages and other means, as explained in Cd. 8320, has hitherto been 20s., but the Government have now decided to abolish the distinction between pensioners in rural and in urban districts, and in future the limit of 30s. weekly for wages and other means will apply to pensioners in both urban and rural districts.
Pensioners in rural districts who are entitled to resume payment of their pensions under this extension of the administrative concessions—i.e., pensioners who have surrendered their pension order books under the arrangement set out in Cd. 8320, and whose weekly wages and other means do not exceed 30s—should apply in writing to the local pension officer for the return of their pension order books. If they are then found to be entitled to the benefit of the extended concession, payment of the pension money will be authorised from the Friday following the receipt of the application by the officer.
The concessions now in question are only applicable to the old age pensions; they do not apply to the; additional allowances of 2s. 6d. a week which the Government are paying during the War to those pensioners whose means as estimated under the Old Age Pensions Acts do not exceed the statutory limits for a pension. Those limits are as follows:
- (a) In the case of a pensioner who is one of a married couple living together in the same house, £63 a year, being the total means of husband and wife from all sources (i.e., about 24s. 3d. a week), over and above old ago pension;
- (b) In other cases £31 10s. a year (i.e.,, about 12s. 1½d. per week) over and above old age pension.