§ 37. Mr. G. LOCKER-LAMPSON
asked the Minister of Health what is the cost each year of the grants made and promise I to panel doctors and chemists in respect of war bonuses or allowances?
§ The following is the answer referred to:
§ Major ASTOR
Giants by way of war bonuses or allowances, as distinct from the regular payments for remuneration for insurance practice, have been made to insurance practitioners, in respect of the year 1918, amounting to approximately £300,000. Approval has been given by the Treasury for the grant of a war bonus to insurance practitioners in respect of the year 1919 on a basis corresponding broadly to that laid down by the Conciliation and Arbitration Board for Civil Servants. The cost of the grants for the year 1919 is estimated to be approximately £950,000. These figures are for Great Britain. As regards chemists, the increase of remuneration afforded them in respect of war conditions forms part of the general charge upon funds provided for defraying the cost of medical benefit and cannot be readily separated.
§ 36. Mr. SITCH
asked the Minister of Health if 'he has yet given any consideration to the insufficiency, owing to declining money values, of the allowance of 3s. 5d. per member of approved societies for administrative purposes under the National Health Insurance Acts ; and, if not, can he see his way to do so and recommend Parliament to approve of an augmentation of the allowance in order to meet the increased expenditure of the societies under that head?
§ 38. Mr. G. LOCKER-LAMPSON
asked the Minister of Health if some approved societies have been unable to grant an adequate war bonus to their staffs in consequence of the administration allowance, which was fixed by Regulation several years ago, being now found by them to be insufficient; and, if so, what action lie proposes to take?
§ Major ASTOR
It rests solely with the approved society to determine the salaries of its officials, and the Ministry has no knowledge of the extent to which war bonuses have been granted. The audited accounts indicate that the great majority of societies have still a surplus on their administration account, though the necessity for increasing the maximum sum available for purposes of administration is under consideration in connection with the question of the revision of the rates of contributions and benefits. Sick- 1619 ness and unemployment benefits are, however, so closely associated that the question of the revision of the sickness benefit scale cannot be settled pending a decision in regard to the contemplated revision of unemployment benefit.