HC Deb 02 November 1948 vol 457 cc668-9
33. Mr. Molson

asked the Minister of National Insurance whether he can give an estimate of the extent of non-stamping or under-stamping of insurance cards and of the loss of revenue to the National Insurance Fund caused thereby in the period since the appointed day, 5th July, 1948.

36. Mr. Chetwynd

asked the Minister of National Insurance how many self-employed and non-employed persons are contributing to the National Insurance scheme; and what action is being taken against defaulters.

Mr. J. Griffiths

I regret that the figures asked for by the hon. Member for The High Peak (Mr. Molson) are not available. Up to 9th October, approximately 1,350,000 persons had registered as new entrants in the self-employed and non-employed classes. To those must be added a substantial body of persons who were voluntary contributors under the old scheme; the exact numbers falling into these classes are not known.

As regards the second part of the Question by my hon. Friend, I have no reason to think that there is any deliberate and widespread evasion of their obligations among persons in these classes, but I am watching the position closely.

Mr. Molson

Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that in the administration of this matter it is of some importance to know how many people are not conforming with the law and will he have some inquiry made into this matter in order to prepare an estimate?

Mr. Griffiths

Yes, but exemption is permitted to men and women in low income groups in these classes. Particulars of these are still being received and we are considering them. Later on we shall be in a position to make a firm estimate. For the present, I would like to take the opportunity of reminding everybody in this classification that contributions were due as from 5th July and that the sooner they are paid the better it will be.