HC Deb 11 March 1947 vol 434 cc1108-9
7. Squadron-Leader Sir Gifford Fox

asked the Minister of National Insurance what is the number of old age pensioners in Thame who have applied to his Department at Blackpool and have only received cards of acknowledgment; and what steps will be taken to remedy this hardship.

9. Sir Hugh Lucas-Tooth

asked the Minister of National Insurance how many old age pensioners have been in arrear with payment of the pension due to them for any period exceeding a month between 1st September, 1946, and 28th February, 1947; whether he is aware that irregularity in payment causes grave hardship; and whether he will take action to get the delay in payments cleared up as quickly as possible.

10. Mr. McAdam

asked the Minister of National Insurance the number of pension claims still outstanding in the city of Salford at the latest date.

Mr. J. Griffiths

The records of my Department are not kept in a way which would enable the specific information asked for to be supplied. But as regards the general position, I would refer the hon. Members to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for Altrincham and Sale (Mr. Erroll) on 4th March and to the reply given earlier today to Questions 4 and 5. As regards arrears of claims for increased pensions on retirement, the number of cases outstanding in England to the end of January has now, been reduced below the estimated figure of 20,000 which I gave last week.

Sir G. Fox

Is the Minister able to say what the average delay now is?

Mr. Griffiths

No, I do not think any figure of that kind would serve any useful purpose, and I am not able to say.

Mr. Keeling

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that a number of applicants in Twickenham have not even received an acknowledgment card?

Mr. Griffiths

No, Sir. There is a definite instruction on that point. All correspondence is acknowledged. During the war the practice of acknowledging correspondence was dropped by Departments, but I re-instituted it immediately this new procedure came into force.