§ 31. Mr. Evelyn King
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services why the size of the retirement pension for Mrs. Wootten of 7 Stowell Crescent, Wareham, Dorset, which was first queried in October 1975, has not yet, despite continuing correspondence with the hon. Member for Dorset, South, been finalised; and in how many other cases in the last 12 months the assessment of retirement pension has been delayed by six months or more.
§ Mr. Deakins
No records are kept of the time taken to determine the rate of retirement pension in individual cases, but I can assure the hon. Member that the case of his constituent, about which I shall be writing to him, is quite exceptional. Meanwhile I am glad to say that we have been able to decide the issue. Mrs. Wootten has been awarded pension at her full rate and the appropriate arrears have been sent to her.
§ 32. Mr. Teddy Taylor
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will institute an inquiry to establish whether the present and proposed rates of retirement pensions are adequate to enable pensioner households to purchase an adequate nutritive diet.
§ Mr. Orme
My right hon. Friend does not think such an inquiry is necessary. The Chief Medical Officer's Committee on Medical Aspects of Food Policy is responsible for the nutritional surveillance of the population, including pensioner householders. It has found no cause for concern about the nutritional status of pensioner households.
§ 52. Mr. Gwilym Roberts
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many men first drew their pensions during 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974 and 1975.
§ Mr. Deakins
I regret that the information is not available for 1972 or 1973. In the other years to which my hon. Friend refers, the estimated numbers of men awarded retirement pensions, including old person's pensions, were as follows:—
Year Awards 1971 … … … 290,000 1974 … … … 265,000 1975 … … … 278,000