HC Deb 01 December 1919 vol 122 cc25-6
46. Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

asked the Prime Minister when His Majesty's Government expects to reach a decision with reference to the old age pensioners, who are suffering severely from the high cost of living?


asked if the Government can see their way to promptly carry through legislation giving effect to the recommendation of the Old Age Pensions Committee, so that the hardships many pensioners are suffering may be relieved before the winter arrives?


The Government have not yet been able to come to a decision on this subject. If the question is repeated this day week, I hope to be able to give a definite reply.


Before coming to a final decision will the right hon. Gentleman consider the advisability of making an advance that may be granted retrospective having regard to the fact that a good many old people have got into debt through a shortage of money?


I am afraid I cannot give any pledge on that point.

48. Mr. BRIANT

asked the Prime Minister if, pending the decision as to the increase of the old age pensions, boards of guardians can be secured against surcharge, or assured of a remittance of such surcharge, should it be desirable to supplement the pensions by outdoor relief in cases where there is evidence of want and distress caused by the inadequacy of the present amount of pension owing to the cost of the necessaries of life?

The PAYMASTER - GENERAL (Sir Tudor Walters—for Dr. Addison)

It is not illegal for a board of guardians to-give outdoor relief to old age pensioners in such cases as the hon. Member has in, mind, but as the law stands no instructions which I could give would prevent any disqualification for the old age pension which at present attaches to the receipt of Poor Law relief.


Do I understand my hon. Friend to say it is not illegal to give relief under those conditions?


It is not illegal for the Poor Law authorities to give relief to old age pensioners if they think fit, but, of course, that relief carries with it disqualification.