§ Mr. Murphy
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will ensure that future pension increases are paid without the present delay between spring announcement and autumn payment.
§ Mr. Rossi
The present arrangements have been found by successive Governments to provide the most efficient and economic uprating operation and require about seven months from the initial decision of new rates. The 599W timetable is largely conditioned by the 20 or 26-week cycle for the renewal of benefit order books, and it ensures that the higher rates come into payment before the onset of winter each year. There would be no particular gain to beneficiaries if annual upratings were simply moved to another part of the year, nor if the announcement were delayed to close the time gap, since the upratings are linked to the movement of prices between uprating dates.