HC Deb 19 March 1931 vol 249 cc2129-30
31. Mr. R. A. TAYLOR

asked the Minister of Health whether he will consider introducing legislation at an early date to provide that wives of insured men shall be eligible for pension when their husbands attain the age of 65 years?


My right hon. Friend has nothing to add to the reply which he gave to my hon. Friend on 29th January on the same subject.


May I ask if the Committee on Social Insurance makes any recommendation on this point?


I am not able to answer that point; it is a matter for my right hon. Friend.


Will the right hon. Gentleman represent to the Minister the very serious disability which a large number of men suffer by reason of losing their unemployment insurance benefit at the age of 65? If their wives are under 65, they have to face life on 10s. per week.

35. Mr. TINKER

asked the Minister of Health if he is aware that persons who have become entitled to old age pensions under the Widows', Orphans and Old Age Contributory Pensions Act, and did not make their claims until some time had elapsed after they had turned 65 years, have been refused the three months' arrears because they were 65 years of age before 2nd December, 1929; and will he take steps to remedy this?

The MINISTER of HEALTH (Mr. Arthur Greenwood)

I would point, out that the provision in the Contributory Pensions Act, 1929, which allows payment of three months' arrears is limited to cases where the title arose on or after the 2nd December, 1929. In the case of a person who becomes entitled on attaining the age of 65 before that date, there is no alternative but to apply the relevant provision of the Act of 1925 which allows of payment only from the date of claim. I am not satisfied that there is a case for amending legislation to secure more favourable treatment for a person who, though qualified before 2nd December, 1929, has not yet made the necessary claim.


Is it not obvious that there is an anomaly in the Act and cannot the Minister see his way to remedy it? There can only be a very few cases; if the application comes in after December, 1929, surely he could allow it.


I think these people have had a fair amount of time, and it is very difficult, after the time has elapsed, to make retrospective legislation apply.


In view of the answer which has been given, I beg to say that I shall take the opportunity of raising this matter on the Adjournment.

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