HC Deb 08 December 1919 vol 122 cc897-8
45. 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?

46. Mr. T. THOMSON

asked the Prime Minister 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?

51. Major BREESE

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the unanimous recommendation of the Commission on Old Age Pensions that Poor Law relief shall not be deemed a disqualification for such pensions, the Government will give effect to this recommendation at the earliest possible moment, so as to obviate suffering during this winter period amongst old people owing to the high cost of the necessaries of life?

52. Mr. F. ROBERTS

asked the Prime Minister what action the Government proposes to take with regard to the Report of the Select Committee on Old Age Pensions; and whether, in view of the need for increased allowance, steps can be taken to ensure immediate action?

Mr. BONAR LAW (Leader of the House)

The Cabinet have already given most careful consideration to this subject and to the recommendations of the Committee. The proposals involve such a large additional expenditure, carrying with it, of course, additional taxation, that the Government are not yet in a position to place their proposals before the House of Commons, but the examination of the subject is being continued by a Cabinet, Committee from day to day, and I hope that I shall be able to announce the decision of the Government before the House rises.

Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY

Will the right hon. Gentleman consider whether some emergency grant could not be given for the coming winter?


Administratively that would be impossible. I think the House must be satisfied with what I said. We are going into it most closely, but we must take into account, as the House will have to do, the effect of what will be done.


Is it not the fact that the half-crown extra given during the War was given administratively and not by legislative Act?


Yes. I do not think there was any other way of doing it then, but it was a very bad way, because there was no differentiation between the necessities of different cases.


If you give another half-crown wrongly now, would not the two wrongs make a right?


No; the two wrongs would make a double wrong.

Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY

I beg to give notice that I will raise this matter on the Adjournment to-night.

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