HC Deb 10 June 1937 vol 324 cc1960-1
72. Mr. Leslie

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that, owing to the inadequate allowance paid to old people by way of pensions, there are in the county of Durham 6,170 men and 4,137 women on old age pensions with 937 dependants who have their pensions supplemented from public assistance to the extent of £203,980 per annum, equal to a county rate of 1s. 8d. in the pound; and whether in view of this burden on local rates, the Government will consider the desirability of increasing old age pensions to an adequate amount?

Lieut.-Colonel Colville

I would refer the hon. Member to the answer which I gave yesterday to the hon. Member for Consett (Mr. David Adams).

Mr. Leslie

Does the hon. and gallant Gentleman think it fair that poor districts should have to bear this additional burden while rich communities escape? Is not this a case for equalisation of rates?

Lieut.-Colonel Colville

I cannot add to the answers that I gave beyond pointing out that, in dealing with the figures of the country as a whole, I was unable to accept the view put forward by the hon. Member.