HC Deb 14 December 1948 vol 459 cc995-6
10. Mr. Bowden

asked the Minister of Pensions how many ex-Servicemen disabled in the 1914–18 war have had their claims to disability pensions admitted since 1945 for the first time.

The Minister of Pensions (Mr. Marquand)

The number admitted from 1st January, 1946, to 30th November, 1948, was 342.

14. Lord Willoughby de Eresby

asked the Minister of Pensions how many 1939–45 war pensioners are pensioned at the 40 per cent. rate for amputation of leg below the knee; and what would be the annual cost of increasing their pension to the 50 per cent. rate as paid to the 1914–18 pensioners of the same disablement.

Mr. Marquand

There are approximately 2,000 pensioners of the 1939–45 war who are pensioned at the 40 per cent. rate for amputation of the leg below the knee. The cost of increasing their pensions to the 50 per cent. rate would be about £33,000 a year.

Lord Willoughby de Eresby

In view of the fact that, so far as I know, this is the only outstanding difference in the assessment as between the 1914–18 and the 1939–45 pensioners, and the fact that the amount to bring them into line is not very great, will the hon. Gentleman consider removing this grievance at the earliest possible moment?

Mr. Marquand

The noble Lord knows that this is the only case in which the assessment made was less than that which applied in the previous war. In a large number of cases the assessments were increased in the Royal Warrant. The noble Lord is probably also aware that the scale of assessment laid down in the Hancock Report is incorporated in the Industrial Injuries Act.

15. Mr. Shackleton

asked the Minister of Pensions what was the total amount paid by his Department inclusive of all allowances to pensioners whose disabilities were assessed at 100 per cent. in the years ended 31st March, 1939, and 31st March, 1948, respectively; and what was the average weekly payment in each year per pensioner assessed at the 100 per cent. rate.

Mr. Marquand

For year ending March, 1939, a total of £3,372,400 and an average of £2 7s. 10d. per week. For year ending March, 1948, a total of £10,305,300 and an average of £3 17s. 3d. per week.

Mr. Shackleton

In view of the assertions that are being made about the small increase in the pension, can the Minister tell us what percentage of increase that represents on the average of the 100 per cent. Disability pension?

Mr. Marquand

Yes, Sir. I believe about 61 per cent.