HC Deb 15 February 1940 vol 357 cc946-7
43. Miss Wilkinson

asked the Minister of Health whether he will consider the inclusion in the pension scheme at 60 years of age of single women who have at some time been insured, in view of the difficulty that so many women have of retaining paid work until they are 60 years of age?

Mr. Elliot

I am afraid that I cannot contemplate the granting of contributory old age pensions to women who are not insured under the Pensions Scheme when they attain pensionable age.

Miss Wilkinson

Would it not be possible to have some relaxation of the rigidly applied 104 contributions rule, because it rules out a large number of women who have paid for many years?

Mr. Elliot

The hon. Lady will know the difficulty in fixing an administrative boundary. A new set of rules introduces no less hard cases than the ones they get rid of.

Mr. Salt

Will pensions be granted to single women who have given up their employment to attend to sick persons?

Mr. Elliot

I think the first thing is to deal with the Bill already before the House.

64. Lieut.-Commander Tufnell

asked the Minister of Health what would be the cost of enabling all pre-1924 widows to receive a widow's pension at 60 years of age?

Mr. Elliot

Provision more generous than that suggested in the Question already exists. Under the Contributory Pensions Act, 1929, the widows of men of the insurable class who died before 4th January, 1926, were given a title to pension on attaining the age of 55. I have not extracted figures relating to the cost of these pensions in view of pressure of work.

Lieut.-Commander Tufnell

Can my right hon. Friend say whether the insured widow of an uninsured man who died 20 years ago would come within the purview of this Act?

Mr. Elliot

Anybody insured in his or her own rights would come within it.

78. Mr. Pethick-Lawrence

asked the Minister of Health whether women voluntary contributors are in any case included in the scheme of Part I of the Old Age and Widows' Pensions Bill?

Mr. Elliot

Yes, Sir. The proposals contained in Part I of the Old Age and Widows' Pensions Bill apply to women voluntary contributors who derive their title to voluntary insurance from previous compulsory insurance, but do not apply to women who are special voluntary contributors under the Act of 1937.

79. Sir W. Jenkins

asked the Minister of Health whether he will consider making an early declaration with regard to the financial effect of the Old Age and Widows' Pensions Bill on the expenditure of county and county borough councils in order that they may have a reasonable opportunity of preparing their estimates for 1940–41 with knowledge as to whether he will relieve them of all the present cost of supplementing old age pensions?

Mr. Elliot

I would refer the hon. Member to the terms of the Bill and to the explanatory Memorandum attached to it. If there is any specific point on which he desires further explanation, perhaps he would be so good as to communicate with me.

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