42. Mr. MONTAGUE BARLOW
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether no balances in hand on the coming into operation of the National Insurance Act are to be allowed on the administration account, whilst a deficit is to be made good at once by a levy on the members; whether this will result in many approved societies being short of funds for working expenses; and whether it could be arranged that the transfer of credit balances from administrative to benefit accounts should take place oftener than at the valuation period, namely, every three years?
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Mr. Masterman)
The hon. Member appears to be under a misapprehension. The amount which may be carried out of contributions to the administration account (i.e., appropriated for administration expenses) is limited by regulation; but there is nothing to prevent any unexpended balance of sums so carried to the administration account from being carried forward and used to meet subsequent expenses—vide paragraph 4 of the National Health Insurance (Administration Expenses) Regulations, dated 20th January, 1913. There would be no advantage in transferring surplus balances on the administration account to the benefit fund during the period before a valuation takes place, since the whole of a society's funds including such balances are in fact available for the payment of benefits, and the only object of such a transfer is to increase any surplus or diminish any deficiency upon the benefit fund which may be disclosed upon valuation. A deficiency on the administration account has to be made good at the end of each year, but deficiencies as at 12th January last are subject to a special regulation which admits of their being carried forward if the Commissioners are satisfied that there is reasonable prospect of their 1169 being liquidated by savings on administration in the following year.