§ 40. Mr. TINKER
asked the Minister of Health the figures showing the number of women between the ages of 65 and 70, wives of insured contributors to the widows', orphans', and old age pensions, who will not be entitled to a pension owing to their husbands attaining the age of 70 before January, 1928?
§ 53. Colonel PERKINS
asked the Minister of Health if he can state the number of wives who, under the Widows', Orphans', and Old Age Contributory Pensions Act, will be deprived of their pensions at the age of 65 owing to their husbands attaining the age of 70 during the last few days before the old age pension Section of the Act comes into force; and whether the Government will consider any modification of the existing Measure to deal sympathetically with these old people who will lose their pensions by a few days or a few hours only?
The estimated number of wives involved is, in the former case 20,000, and in the latter 250. With regard to these cases, I would point out that not only does the husband's insurance provide unrestricted old age pensions at 70 for himself and his wife, but in the event of the latter becoming a widow before she attains the age of 70, it would entitle her to a widow's pension.
As regards the suggestion of the hon. and gallant Member for Southampton (Colonel Perkins), I am afraid I cannot promise the necessary amending legislation. At the commencement of any insurance scheme there must always be a certain number of cases which only just fail to satisfy the qualifying conditions.
§ 54. Lieut.-Colonel THOM
asked the Minister of Health the total amount of the contributions and of pensions and allowances paid under the Widows', Orphans', and Old Age Contributory Pensions Act by 31st October last?
The total amount of the contributions collected under the Widows', Orphans' and Old Age Contributory Pensions Act from 4th January, 1926, to 31st October, 1927, was approximately £38,000,000.
§ 58. Mr. HARMSWORTH
asked the Minister of Health the total cost of pensions under the Widows', Orphans' and Old Age Contributory Pensions Act as existing on the 6th October last; and what portion of that cost falls upon the taxpayers?
The total amount of pensions and allowances paid from 4th January, 1926, including old age pensions to persons aged 70 and over payable by virtue of the Contributory Pensions Act from 2nd July, 1926, to 6th October was approximately £17,800,000.
As regards the portion of the total cost that falls upon the taxpayers, Sub-section 3 of Section 11 of the Act provides for the charge on the Exchequer to be an equalised yearly payment of 1113 four million pounds in each of the 10 years ending 31st March, 1936. The cost of old age pensions to persons aged 70 and over, payable by virtue of the Widows', Orphans' and Old Age Contributory Pensions Act, is borne wholly by the Exchequer. The estimated amount of such pensions to the 6th October was £5,600,000.
61. Mr. ROBINSON
asked the Minister of Health if his attention has been drawn to the case of Mrs. S. A. Helliwell, of Prescott Terrace, Stainland, Halifax, who has been deprived of her old age pension on the ground that she is an inmate of St. Luke's Hospital, Halifax, a Poor Law institution, despite the fact that she entered the institution on the advice of her private doctor, is a paying patient, and also pays poor and district rates for her private dwelling; and whether he will issue instruction for the old age pension to be reissued with arrears from the date of suspension?
An appeal by Mrs. Helliwell against the decision of the local pensions committee, that she has become disqualified for continuing to receive an old age pension by reason of having been an inmate of a Poor Law institution for the purpose of receiving medical or surgical treatment for a period exceeding three months, was received by me on the 12th instant. The case is now under investigation, and a decision will be given as soon as possible.