§ 20. Mr. Pethick-Lawrence
asked the Minister of Health what is the position of a person who has never drawn a blind person's pension, but who, being over 70 years of age and drawing the 10s. old age pension, becomes blind either before making application for a supplementary pension or after having drawn a supplementary pension under the auspices of the Ministry of Health for some time?
Mr. M. MacDonald
Blind persons are expressly excluded from the scope of Part II of the Old Age and Widows' Pensions Act, 1940, and are not, therefore, eligible for a supplementary pension. The responsibility for assisting such persons rests with the local authority under the Blind Persons Acts.
§ Mr. Pethick-Lawrence
Do I understand that when a person becomes blind the duty of maintaining him is transferred from the Ministry of Health to the local authority? If so, who undertakes to make that change?
A person who is in receipt of a supplementary pension and then becomes blind automatically comes under the Blind Persons Act, and the responsibility for his or her maintenance then falls on the local authority. We shall be very careful to see that there is no interval between the receipt of his or her payment by way of supplementary pension and the receipt of payment from the other authority.