HC Deb 28 June 1937 vol 325 cc1643-4
47. Mr. Tinker

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he is in a position to say what is the total amount paid in Poor Law relief to those who are getting the old age pension; and what further sum would have to be added to this to increase the present 10s. a week to 15s. to all old age pensioners?

Lieut.-Colonel Colville

Information as to the total amount of public assistance paid to old age pensioners is not available, but 90 per cent. of the old age pension population is not in receipt of public assistance and the annual cost of an increase of 5s. per week in the case of these pensioners alone may be estimated at £30,000,000.

Mr. Tinker

May I ask through you, Mr. Speaker, that this information should be given, as the question of old age pensions is becoming a live question now, and it is necessary to get to know what is being paid to old age pensioners in the way of relief, so that we may have some idea of what it costs?

Lieut.-Colonel Colville

The question affected two Departments and I thought that it would be convenient for me to reply because the latter part affected me. If the hon. Member wishes to follow up the matter, the question of public assistance is a subject for the Minister of Health.

Mr. Gallacher

Has the Financial Secretary made any inquiry into the actual cost of increasing old age pensions, taking into account what would be saved in other directions?

Lieut.-Colonel Colville

That is a separate matter.