HC Deb 13 April 1948 vol 449 cc779-80
26. Sir I. Fraser

asked the Minister of National Insurance if he will arrange for those who wish to do so to compound their National Health Insurance contributions by a lump sum payable in advance, which would help the Treasury and make the payer a life member.

Mr. J. Griffiths

Such arrangements could not be made without amending legislation. I think that both the Department and insured persons should be given time to gain practical experience of the working of the new scheme before any such change in the law is considered.

Sir I. Fraser

May I suggest seriously to the Minister that he should discuss with the Chancellor of the Exchequer the advisability of adopting this proposal? Does he not think it would be convenient, and would it not provide a draft of money on the future which would be far more convenient than the capital levy, and would be voluntary?

Mr. Griffiths

We have no information as to what number of people would care to take advantage of a proposal of this kind. It would mean an amendment of the existing Act, and I think we had better get experience of how the scheme, as outlined in the Act, works before we make any change in it.

Lieut.-Commander Braithwaite

Is there any arrangement for life membership of this House?

Mr. Baldwin

Is the Minister aware that a life composition is a fairly general feature in many societies, and is found to work excellently?

Mr. Griffiths

As I have said, we have no indication that there would be any large number of people who would want to make an arrangement of this kind. I think the method of payment by insurance stamps is the best for the large majority of the contributors, and we had better see how it works.

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