HC Deb 02 June 1921 vol 142 cc1234-5

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is aware of the grievances of old age pensioners arising from the bringing into account in calculating their means of gifts from friends and pensions in respect of sons killed in the War; and will he take steps to remove those grievances?


I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer given by me on Tuesday to my hon. and learned Friend the Member for York.


Is the hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that the answer he gave last Tuesday referred to universal old age pensions?


We have another question later on this very same matter.

108. Sir R. NEWMAN

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that an old lady of 85 years of age, who was living in a home for aged people in Devon has had her old age pension taken from her on the ground that her friends contributed 17s. 6d. a week towards her maintenance and that the value of her accommodation at the home had also to be included in estimating her means, in consequence of which she was debarred from receiving the 10s. weekly old age pension, and that her friends being unable to increase their contribution to cover that amount and the home, which is a charitable institution, not having sufficient funds to meet the loss, she has at the age of 84 been compelled to enter the workhouse; and whether the Government can take steps, by legislation or by other means, to remove the hardship of this and other similar cases?


I understand that the case to which the hon. Member refers is that of Mrs. Harriet Dyer. The old age pension was revoked on the ground that her means exceeded the statutory limit, the decision of the Local Pension Committee being confirmed on appeal by the Ministry of Health. As regards the last part of the question, I would refer my hon. Friend to the statement made on this subject by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in Debate on the 11th May last.


Will not the Government consider these cases from the point of view of economy as well as humanity?


Is a voluntary allowance be friends regarded as means in the sense that it deprives a person of his or her old age pension?


Is it the intention of the Government to undertake any legislation on this subject? Will the free vote of the House as last night be allowed?


That does not arise out of the question on the Paper.