HC Deb 01 March 1928 vol 214 c585

The following Question stood upon the Order Paper in the name of Mr. L'ESTRANGE MALONE:

19. To ask the Minister of Health what evidence he has to show that laxness in certification by panel doctors accounts for the increase of over 11 per cent. in the amount paid in sickness and disablement benefits in 1927; whether he has any information regarding the increase in sickness claims in various parts of the country, such as the coalfields and other depressed areas; and what are the further measures with regard to certification which he proposes to adopt?


May I point out that this question has been altered to make it appear that I am responsible for the statement contained in it, but it refers to a speech of the Minister?


The hon. Member appears to be under a misapprehension. I have never suggested that the whole of the increase in the sickness and disablement benefits in 1927 as compared with 1926 is attributable to laxity in certification. But for the evidence that some want of care in certification is a

Year. Number of prosecutions instituted for failure to pay contributions. Number of convictions. Total amount of penalties imposed. Average penalty imposed upon each prosecution.
£ s. d. £ s. d.
1925 683 628 2,144 6 0 3 8 3
1926 651 611 2,136 2 0 3 10 0
1927 990 939 3,174 14 0 3 7 5

These figures relate to England only. Prosecutions in Wales are undertaken by the Welsh Board of Health. I am obtaining the corresponding figures from the Board and will send the hon. Member a statement of them.