HC Deb 17 February 1948 vol 447 cc963-4
3. Mr. Champion

asked the Minister of Pensions whether the allowances of invalid children of disability pensioners and widows of the 1914–18 war which now cease when the child attains the age of 21 may be extended beyond that age in the same way as the allowances of similar children of pensioners of the recent war.

Mr. Buchanan

Yes, Sir. As a result of representations made to me by my hon. Friend, for which I am extremely grateful to him, I have decided that as from the first pay day in March, 1948, a disablement pensioner or widow of the 1914–18 War who has received an allowance for an invalid child up to the age of 21 will continue to receive an allowance or will have it resumed subject to the conditions applicable in cases of the recent war.

I am particularly pleased to announce this improvement because it will benefit among others the distressing case of the widow who has in her care an invalid son or daughter for whom she drew an allowance up to the age of 21 but for whom she now draws nothing from my Department. In addition to an allowance for her child she will receive a rent allowance if her rent and rates exceed 8s. a week. Application will be necessary.

Mr. Champion

May I thank my right hon. Friend for the consideration he has given to this class of people, and ask him whether this announcement covers the type of case in which the invalid child has had the allowance stopped at 21 years of age and the parent has since died?

Mr. Buchanan

Yes, it will cover that case. In that case the pension of 26s. per week will be payable to the guardian.

Miss Bacon

Does the announcement include the child of 21 who was born after the end of the father's war service, and who up to now has had no pension whatever?

Mr. Buchanan

Yes, we shall pay, provided the child was an invalid on attaining the normal age limit. We shall certainly pay in that particular case.

Major Legge-Bourke

Is one of the stipulations connected with this most welcome increase, that the child must be living with the mother—the widow?

Mr. Buchanan

No, it cannot be, because we shall pay it in the case of the widow who dies; so that stipulation cannot operate. We are paying 26s. a week. I hope that the Department will continue to look after the child's interests and see it is properly cared for.