The Kaye Almey column
If all politicians were as good to look at as Mrs. Margaret Thatcher, Member of Parliament for Finchley, dullness could always be forgiven. But Mrs. Thatcher isn't dull.
In her quite spectacular progress—new girl at Westminster in 1959, joint Parliamentary secretary to the Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance two years later—efficiency has probably counted as much as personal charm.
Certainly Mrs. Thatcher, visiting Leicester Knighton Women Conservatives' Luncheon Club yesterday, had no truck with feminine coyness.
She is vitally interested, she says, in the creation of wealth, for unless it has something to tax, her ministry cannot give increased pensions.
She quotes Mr. R.A. Butler as giving a target ten years ago that his party could double Britain's standard of living within 25 years and declares “We are on target” .
She sees the next 15 to 20 years as expensive for the Ministry of Pensions because people retiring will be those who had no chance to save during the depressed '30s. After them will come retirees who have enjoyed better standards of living and who are eligible for occupational as well as state pensions.
And she argues that no one need today dread asking for a supplementary pension. They never go before a committee and they themselves need never fill in a single Government form. Additional grants are possible for bed linen, for fuel, for special diet and for laundry.