HC Deb 19 November 1946 vol 430 cc662-3
16. Mr. Daines

asked the Minister of National Insurance whether he will now state what action it is proposed to take as a result of the examination of the complaints arising out of the working of the Family Allowances Act, to which his attention has been drawn.

Mr. J. Griffiths

We have carefully examined the position. All the new and expanded social service schemes must be considered as a coordinated whole and most of the difficulties which have arisen out of the piecemeal introduction of parts of the schemes will be removed when the full schemes are in operation.

In the meantime the Assistance Board have been considering the position of children in families drawing supplementary pensions or unemployment assistance. They have now submitted draft Regulations embodying increases in their scale rates for children which have been accepted by the Government, and I propose to lay these draft Regulations before Parliament this week, when copies will be available in the Vote Office.

Mr. Daines

Has the Minister had any consultations with the Minister of Health in regard to family allowances and public assistance cases?

Mr. Griffiths

Public assistance is a matter that falls within the jurisdiction of the Minister of Health and the Secretary of State for Scotland. They have certainly been called into consultation, and both will be communicating as a result of these new regulations.

Mr. Stephen

May I ask my right hon. Friend if he is going to introduce this Session his third and final proposals to afford security and to correct the anomalies that exist and are causing hardship to various people?

Mrs. Castle

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, while the proposed increase in Assistance Board rates will be welcomed, they will make even more unsatisfactory the 5s. children's benefit payable to every child but the first of a man drawing benefit under the Minister's new insurance scheme?

Mr. Griffiths

I appreciate the difficulties which arise, but they are very largely difficulties springing from the piecemeal introduction of this legislation. I am, I hope, entitled to remind hon. Members that we were under considerable pressure to begin the payment of children's allowances before the others.

Forward to