HC Deb 11 November 1948 vol 457 cc1727-8
67. Mr. Cooper-Key

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the maximum amount that a wife can claim from her husband under a wife-maintenance order; and at what date was this figure fixed.

The Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Younger)

Under the Summary Jurisdiction (Married Women) Act, 1895, a court may award a wife a maximum sum of £2 a week and in addition under the Married Women (Maintenance) Act, 1920, the court may order the husband to pay a sum of 10s. a week for the maintenance of each of his children.

Mr. Cooper-Key

In view of the time which has elapsed since these figures were fixed, will not the hon. Gentleman reconsider the figures to bring them more into line with the present purchasing power of the pound and the average increase in wages?

Mr. Younger

My right hon. Friend is, of course, aware that certain anxieties have been expressed about the level of these figures, but any change would require new legislation, and I am afraid I cannot offer any help on that.