24 Captain CROOKSHANK
asked the Minister of Pensions (1) what is the nature of the inquiry into the incomes of persons applying for need pensions;
(2) the number of persons receiving pensions on the grounds that if the deceased son were still alive he would have been contributing towards the maintenance of his parents;
(3) how many persons have surrendered war pensions awarded to them on the basis of what might have been their deceased son's contribution to the household; and what reasons, if any, they have given for such surrender?
27. Mr. HUTCHISON
asked the Minister of Pensions how many parents are now in receipt of a maximum used pension of 20s. a week; and, how many need pensions of any sort have been granted within the last 12 months?
§ The MINISTER of PENSIONS (Major Tryon)
All war pensions to parents are based, directly or indirectly, on the contribution which it might be assumed the deceased son would have been making had be survived. With regard to the class of pensions referred to as need pensions, inquiry is directed to ascertaining the means of support from all sources available to an applicant, regard being had to the liability of support from surviving children. There were at the 31st March last about 3,500 parents in receipt of need pensions at the maximum rate of 20s. a week out of an aggregate of about 32,000 pensioners of this class. About 600 pensions of this class, at all rates within the maximum, have been granted within the last 12 months.
1239 The two remaining classes of pensions Ito parents are those which have been granted in the past on the basis of pre-War dependence on the deceased son, and the flat-rate pension of 5s. a week formerly granted to a parent or parents of an unmarried son under 26 years of age. The recipients of these two classes of pension numbered approximately 159,000 and 79,000 respectively at the 31st March last. I have no record of the total number of parents who have relinquished pension in the two last-named classes, though I understand that ordinarily some half-dozen cases of surrender occur in the course of a year, and usually on ground of improved financial circumstances having rendered the pension unnecessary. Since September last, however, 117 pensioners of these classes have, on patriotic grounds, surrendered their pensions, either in whole or in part, as a contribution to the National emergency.
While thanking the Minister for his reply, may I ask if he has had any complaints from any of these recipients of pensions as to the nature of the inquiry into their needs?
§ Major TRYON
I think there are difficulties with reference to any inquiry. It is obvious that these inquiries are necessary, because we want to ascertain the right amount of pension to pay.
There has been no objection to the amount that the deceased son might have contributed to the family income being taken into account?