§ 34. Mr. BUTCHER
asked the President of the Local Government Board whether his attention has been called to the hardships and privations suffered by large numbers of old age pensioners by reason of the increased cost of living; whether he is aware that under the present Old Age Pensions Act and regulations these pensioners cannot receive any assistance from their late employers, from relief funds, or from any other source without a corresponding reduction in their old age pensions; and whether, in view of the gravity of these cases, the Government will, by legislation or otherwise, modify the administration of old age pensions during the War so as to enable pensioners to receive additional assistance from outside sources without having their present old age pensions diminished?
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Mr. Montagu)
My right hon. Friend has asked me to answer this question. The view of His Majesty's Government in regard to the effect of the War on old age pensions was stated in the reply which was given by the then Chancellor of the Exchequer to the hon. Member for the Attercliffe Division on the 20th April. Administrative arrangements have been made whereby temporary increases of the means of old age pensioners in certain circumstances are not allowed to interfere with the due receipt of their pensions, and my right hon. Friend is considering whether these can be extended. But he fears he cannot undertake to introduce legislation in regard to old age pensions which would throw additional burdens in existing circumstances either on the taxpayer or the ratepayer.
§ Mr. BUTCHER
Will the right hon. Gentleman lay a copy of these Regulations on the Table of the House?
§ Mr. MONTAGU
Regulations have already been made with regard to separation allowances, which are not to affect existing pensions, and with regard to temporary increases due to re-employment on account of shortage of labour owing to war.