§ 13. Mr. LANSBURY
asked the Minister of Pensions whether he has issued an instruction prohibiting local pensions officers from continuing to make recoverable advances of pensions to men to whom payment cannot be made in the usual way by the local post office owing to the failure of the issue office to forward draft books at the proper time; is he aware that, as a direct consequence of this change in procedure, men who themselves, their wives, and families are entirely dependent upon the pension have no other course open but to apply to the relieving officers of guardians for temporary assistance; that this new policy is a further limitation of the powers of local pensions authorities; and that the system in operation hitherto has saved many men and their dependants from the workhouse; is this latest action by his Department due to efforts at economy; what 2223 is the saving estimated to be effected from this change of procedure; and what are the reasons far its enforcement?
§ Major TRYON
The new system has been introduced in order to avoid the confusion and recoveries of overpayments which arose out of the old system. It secures that any break in payment of pension is immediately brought to the notice of Issue Office, who are in a position to rectify without delay any omission whether due to the pensioner or to any other cause, and to restore the pension to payment within a normal period of three days. Its progress is being carefully watched with a view to removing any cases of hardship. As the amount properly payable to the pensioner is the same under either system, no question of any economy at the expense of the pensioner arises.