HC Deb 25 October 1949 vol 468 cc1130-2
14. Mr. Beswick

asked the Minister of National Insurance if he is aware of the anxiety caused by the Form C.F.41 which he has sent out to certain classes of insured persons and which provides for loss of benefit unless former voluntary contributors maintain an unbroken contributory record; and whether he will in future simply define the advantages to the contributors and leave the payment of arrears to their own discretion.

Mr. J. Griffiths

The document in question does not specifically require payment of arrears and I was not aware that it had given rise to anxiety. So far as future statements are concerned the point will not arise as they will relate to contributions under the new Act, none of which are on a voluntary basis.

16. Captain John Crowder

asked the Minister of National Insurance if he is aware of the hardship caused to many insurance contributors who find that they are not entitled to sickness or maternity benefit, owing to the fact that they have been placed in Groups C or D and therefore that their contribution year and benefit year differs from contributors placed by chance in Groups A or B, despite the fact that since 5th July, 1948, they have paid identical insurance contributions and whether he is prepared to re-consider this matter.

Mr. Steele

I understand that the hon. and gallant Member has in mind persons who were in arrears under the old scheme. For a limited period the sickness and maternity benefits of such people will differ according to the group in which they are placed for the purposes of the new scheme. This is an unavoidable result of the arrangements which had to be made to bring the new scheme into force, and I regret that I cannot undertake to re-open the matter.

Captain Crowder

I am dealing with the new entrants into the scheme, not those in arrears before. If any administrative difficulties arise would it not be possible for the contributor in the C or D groups to send in his partly stamped card with a claim for benefit, because he has paid the same and his card is not in the Ministry? It seems very unfair, because he is put into a different group simply by chance, that he should lose his benefits.

Mr. Steele

I was not aware that there were any difficulties in connection with new entrants. If the hon. and gallant Gentleman will give me any specific cases he has in mind I shall be only too pleased to look into them.

Captain Crowder

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that I have referred two cases to the Minister, and that he is dealing with them. I believe, at the moment?