HC Deb 26 March 1925 vol 182 cc627-8
80. Major WHELER

asked the Minister of Health whether, seeing that the unspent accumulated insurance funds amount to nearly £100,000,000 for England under the National Health Insurance Act, he will state why it is necessary to hive so large a sum in reserve?


asked the Minister of Health, seeing that the unspent accumulated health insurance funds for England alone total nearly £100,000,060, if he will say with what precise object such a large fund is being accumulated; and whether, so long as the weekly contributions to the Fund are kept at their present amounts, some additional advantageous use can be made of at least a portion of this sum?


The need for the reserves referred to by the hon. Members arises from the fact that the liabilities under the system of National Health Insurance increase with the age of the insured persons, while the contributions in all cases are at fixed rates payable from age 16 to age 70, and are actuarially calculated to be sufficient for a person entering into insurance at the age of 16 The question whether funds accumulate in particular cases in excess of requirements is determined by the quinquennial valuations made under the Act. Where disposable surpluses appear, the societies are authorised to distribute them in additional benefits under schemes confirmed by my Department. On the last valuation over £6 millions of surplus funds was so dealt with, and it is expected that on the valuation now in progress a considerably greater sum than this will be made available for distributed.


Is the sum gradually accumulating As it has reached £100,000,000 now, is it still increasing under the present system, or will it get less?


Does the right hon. Gentleman accept the statement that the surplus from the last valuation will come to anything near £100,000,000, or is it much more likely to be nearer £30,000,000?


In reply to the first supplementary question, I may say that I think it is still increasing. My answer to the second supplementary is that this surplus does not represent anything like £100,000,000, or £30,000,000. I said that it was considerably greater than the £6,000,000 which appeared to be disposable after the first valuation.