HC Deb 21 February 1929 vol 225 cc1270-1

asked the Minister of Pensions whether he is aware that Mr. A. J. Robinson, lately of 25, Coleshill Street, Birmingham, who was before the War in business as a hairdresser, and whose business was sacrificed by reason of his service in the War, in respect whereof he is now in receipt of a pension of 4s. 8d. per week, has now applied for permission to commute his pension to enable him to set up again in business as a hairdresser; that permission was refused to Mr. Robinson on the ground that pensions of 7s. a week or less may not be commuted; that Mr. Robinson is now out of employment; and whether the Ministry of Pensions will consider a variation of its regulations in cases in which an application for the commutation of a small pension can be shown to be to the advantage of the applicant?


I am aware of the facts in this case, on which I have been in communication with the hon. Member. I have no authority to make an exception to the statutory Regulations referred to, which are common to the Service Departments along with my own, and which, in respect of this particular provision, are, in my experience, in the best interests of pensioners.


Is the right hon. and gallant Gentleman taking steps to make variations in cases such as these, where an applicant states specifically that he has not the means to enable him to secure hospital treatment?


I do not think commutation would be in the interests of pensioners, who would lose a permanent pension for a temporary gain.