§ 16. Mr. Austin
asked the Minister of National Insurance whether he is aware of the increased hardship caused to old age pensioners by the rise in the cost of living since October, 1946; and if he will give an estimate of the extra sum involved in the increase of the basic pension to 30s. per week.
§ Mr. Steele
As regards the first part of the Question it is open to any old age or retirement pensioner whose resources are insufficient for his needs to apply for supplementary assistance under the improved scale of National Assistance introduced in July last. In reply to the second part, the net additional cost of the change including appropriate increases for wives of pensioners would be about £35 million a year now, rising to about £60 million a year in 20 years' time.