§ factor in the increase I would refer to the speech of my right hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary in the Debate on the 20th February. It is not practicable to ascertain the precise amount of the claims in any particular area, but such evidence as is obtainable indicates that the increase is general and is not limited to particular districts. The whole question of certification is now being examined in consultation with the Insurance Acts Committee of the British Medical Association.
§ 22. Mr. B. SMITH
asked the Minister of Health the numbers of employers reported by inspectors for failing to pay contributions under the Health Insurance Acts during 1925, 1926, and 1927; the number of prosecutions instituted; and the number of convictions, with the average penalty imposed?
As the answer involves a number of figures, I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
§ Following is the answer:
§ I am unable to state the precise number of employers reported by inspectors for failing to pay contributions under the Health Insurance Acts during the periods referred to in the question. The number of prosecutions instituted in England during these periods, the number of convictions obtained, and the average penalties imposed are as follow:
§ Government will consider the possibility of commuting old age pensions to those who qualify for the same immediately prior to leaving Great Britain to reside in British Colonies or Dominions pending the conclusion of reciprocal arrangements between the Government of Great Britain and their respective Governments?587
A proposal to this effect was discussed, both on the Committee and Report stages of the Bill, and it was not then considered advisable to adopt it. It could not now be carried out without legislation, but I have noted my hon. Friend's suggestion for consideration whenever further legislation is contemplated.
§ 21. Mr. B. SMITH
asked the Minister of Health the number of cases to date in which applications for pensions under the contributory scheme have been rejected or are held in abeyance owing to insufficient evidence of employment during the prescribed period?
I would refer the hon. Member to my reply on the 23rd February to a question by the hon. Member for Dundee (Mr. Johnston). I would, however, point out that title to pension does not depend on proof of employment during a prescribed period, but on the payment of contributions.