§ 43. Mr. SYDNEY ROBINSON
asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury if he is aware of complaints of delay experienced by old age pensioners of Essex regarding applications for pensions, and that complaints are made of the method adopted of ascertaining the statutory limit of fixed income; and, in view of these complaints, will he cause inquiries to be made with a view to obviate these delays?
I am not aware that any complaints have been made regarding applications for Old Age Pensions in Essex, but if the hon. Member will furnish me with particulars of any specific case he has in mind, I will make inquiry into the matter.
§ Mr. ROBINSON
I am very pleased to receive the assurance of the hon. Gentleman, and I will let him have the cases to which I have referred in the question.
§ Major HORE-BELISHA
Did not the hon. Gentleman say in the course of debate on the Old Age Pensions Bill that he was going to issue new instructions to the pensions officers as to the manner in which they were to inquire into the means of applicants and recipients of old age pensions? When will that be done?
I would ask my hon. and gallant Friend to await the further debate on the Report stage of the Bill, when a statement will be made.
§ 38. Captain WEDGWOOD BENN
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he can now lay a Paper giving instructions which will be issued to the old age pension officers as to the determination of the meaning of the word earnings in the Old Age Pensions Act?
I am not in a position to say more than that my right hon. Friend, as he promised on the Committee stage of the Bill, is considering the possibility of producing a definition of "earnings" at a later stage.
§ Captain BENN
Did not the Chancellor of the Exchequer hold out a hope that before the final stages of the Bill were passed we should have a copy of the Regulation which the officers would have in their hands in determining the meaning of the word "earnings"?
I think I can satisfy my hon. and gallant Friend by saying definitely now that, on the Report stage of the Bill, we propose to put on the Paper a definition of earnings, and there will be an opportunity for discussion.
§ Major HORE-BELISHA
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that when we tried to put in a definition it was ruled out of order?