HC Deb 16 July 1942 vol 381 cc1335-6
21. Sir Irving Albery

asked the Minister of Health what steps are taken to draw the attention of voluntary contributors in the Old Age Insurance Scheme, to the fact that in certain circumstances, even when contributions have been maintained, they will not become entitled to the full 10s. per week pension; and whether he is aware that persons have entered into voluntary insurance unaware that there is any such condition?

Mr. E. Brown

Arrangements have been in force from the start of the Contributory Pensions Scheme whereby every person who has been precluded from qualifying for the ordinary rate of old age pension by reason of the fact that he has previously been in an employment excepted from old age pensions insurance has been supplied at the time he has become eligible for voluntary insurance with a leaflet explaining the modifications in the rate of old age pension to which he will be subject. I have no reason to suppose that there has been any failure in the operation of these arrangements.

Sir I. Albery

Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that it will probably come increasingly to his knowledge that there have been failures, as these pensions become due?

Mr. Brown

I should be very glad to be informed by my hon. Friend, but he will understand that it has now been working for a long time.

22. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Minister of Health what protests he has received against the proposed method of granting a clothes allowance to old age pensioners; whether this proposal is now operating; and whether he has any report from old age pension officials respecting the incidence of the proposal?

Mr. Brown

As regards the first part of the Question, I cannot add anything to the reply given on 8th July to a similar Question by my right hon. Friend the Member for Bedwellty (Sir C. Edwards). The answer to the second part is "Yes," and as regards the last part, the Assistance Board inform me that the information they are receiving about the progress of the work indicates that, in general, those of the pensioners visited who are in need of clothing, etc., welcome the inquiry, when its purpose is explained to them.

Mr. Sorensen

Has every step been taken to explain fully to the public how this scheme operates?

Mr. Brown

Yes, Sir, and I am grateful that this Question has been asked, as I was for the Question a fortnight ago.