§ 20. Sir R. THOMAS
asked the Minister of Labour whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that the average earnings of employed blind persons amount only to about 10s. per week; that there is distress among the unemployed and unemployable blind; and whether he will institute inquiries into the matter?
§ The MINISTER of HEALTH (Mr. Chamberlain)
I have been asked to reply. The answer to the first two parts of the question is in the negative. Such information as is available shows that the average earnings of employed blind persons are probably nearer 20s. than 10s. a week, and in all cases the earnings are augmented from voluntary or public funds according to the needs of the workers. As regards the unemployed and unemployable blind, it is the duty of the guardians to relieve destitution, but provision is made for many blind persons in this class by voluntary agencies and by an increasing number of local authorities; and old age pensions are available for blind persons at the age of 50. I see no reason for further inquiries into the matter.
§ Mr. HARRIS
Have not the local authorities power to set up official committees such as they have in London, and will the right hon. Gentleman use his influence to get them set up?
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
Arising out of the reply to the original question, in which the Minister said that the average earnings of the employed blind are 20s. a week, does he not think that 20s. a week is a scandalous sum to pay a human being?