HC Deb 06 February 1945 vol 407 c1880
29. Sir Waldron Smithers

asked the Minister of National Insurance the estimated amount in the National Insurance proposals over and above contributions to be met by the taxpayer on death grants for the first 5, 10, 15 and 20 years, respectively, after the scheme comes into operation.

The Minister of National Insurance (Sir William Jowitt)

I would refer the hon. Member to the answer which I gave on 12th December to the hon. Member for Tamworth (Sir J. Mellor) from which he will see that it is estimated that in the first year the expenditure on death grants will fall short of the related contribution income by about £2,500,000, whilst in ten years' time, the expenditure will exceed the contributions by about £500,000 and in 20 years' time by about £4,500,000 a year. Under present conditions I do not think I should be justified in asking for figures to be calculated in greater detail.

Sir W. Smithers

In view of that answer, can my right hon. and learned Friend say what the real value of those grants will be; and can he give us an assurance that they will not be paid in depreciating currency?

Sir W. Jowitt

It will depend upon the whole trend of future events. I cannot prophesy what they will be.

Sir W. Smithers

Then why raise false hopes?