§ Mr. Andrew Bowden
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what is his policy towards the payment of United Kingdom retirement pensions to retired employees of central and local government service overseas;
(2) how many persons formerly employed by the United Kingdom public service overseas are not entitled to a United Kingdom pension; and in which part of the Government service they were employed;
(3) what would be the cost of extending payment of retirement pensions to all retired employees of Her Majesty's Government in both central and local public service overseas.
§ Mr. Scott
United Kingdom retirement pensions are payable anywhere in the world to anyone who satisfies the contribution and retirement conditions, including retired employees of Her Majesty's Government in central and local government service overseas. No statistics are available to show the number of such employees who are not entitled to a national insurance retirement pension. I am therefore unable to estimate the cost of extending payment of retirement pensions to them, though it would seem inappropriate to extend entitlement to people who do not satisfy the basic conditions.
§ Mr. Maginnis
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what steps he intends to take in order to resolve the problem of the freezing of British pensions paid to persons living in Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
§ Mr. Scott
It would have cost about £14.5 million this year to pay the pension uprating to British pensioners living in Australia, Canada and New Zealand and the cost would rise substantially year by year thereafter until all pensions were being paid at full United Kingdom rates. To pay full United Kingdom rates immediately would cost approximately an additional £165 million a year at current rates. In view of these substantial costs, I cannot say when competing priorities will allow the Government to allocate sufficient resources for this purpose, but the question will be kept under review.