HC Deb 20 April 1915 vol 71 c173

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of a 25 per cent. advance in the cost of food, he will consider the need for supplementing the income of old age pensioners by an additional grant from public funds?

92. Mr. ALDEN

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in view of the fact that cases have recently appeared in which old age pensioners have died in circumstances of great hardship and suffering consequent on the increased cost of living, and in view also of the fact that the Prime Minister promised to consider the possibility of increasing the old age pension in certain special cases recommended by the old age pension officers, he will order an inquiry to be made and ask for a Report at the earliest possible moment?


The Government sympathise deeply with the case of old age pensioners, but if every case of hardship due to the special circumstances of the War is met by a grant from public funds, I fear that the heavy expenditure entailed by the War will strain the resources of the country almost to breaking point.


Will the right hon. Gentleman consider this phase of the question: Where the 5s. is inadequate will he allow the local ratepayers or the guardians to supplement it without loss of the pension during the War?


I should like to consider that.