§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of PENSIONS (Major Tryon)
The total cost of administration (including the staff of the Ministry, the regions and local war pensions committees, and the cost of operating medical boards, but excluding Ministry hospitals) was about £1,100,000 for the quarter ended 31st March last. During that quarter about 106,000 first awards of pension or gratuity were made, and 280,000 were renewed on further medical examination. The total expenditure cannot as yet be fully apportioned among the various regions, because not all the regional offices have yet been able to take over the full quota of cases. The cost of administration divided by the number of cases in which pension or gratuity (including allowances to dependants) were warded or in payment during the quarter was approximately 6s. 3d. per case, but I would point out that this figure is wholly misleading, since it takes no account of the very large number of cases dealt with under other provisions of the Warrant or Regulations, e.g., by medical treatment, by supplementary allowance, etc.
§ Major TRYON
The cost of the new regional arrangements can only be ascertained when it has been working some time.
§ Colonel ASHLEY
Does the hon. Gentleman anticipate that the cost of administering pensions will go down in future years?
§ Major TRYON
I hope the administration will be greatly reduced. It is obvious that as time goes on, the number of Medical Boards will be reduced, and they form a very heavy item in the expenditure.