HC Deb 23 May 1950 vol 475 cc1836-7
34. Mr. H. Hynd

asked the Minister of National Insurance how many people are getting public assistance in the borough of Accrington; and how many were getting unemployment assistance or public relief on the corresponding day in 1939.

Dr. Summerskill

At 25th April last, about 3,400 assistance grants were being paid from the National Assistance Board's office at Accrington, which also covers territory outside the borough. I regret that the information asked for in the second part of the Question is not available.

35. Mr. McAdden

asked the Minister of National Insurance the total number of people in receipt of National Assistance at the last convenient date.

Dr. Summerskill

At the end of April, 1950, regular weekly grants of National Assistance were being paid to 1,192,000 persons; the grants take into account the needs of dependants.

Mr. McAdden

In view of this very large number of people who are in receipt of National Assistance in this era of so-called full employment, will the right hon. Lady consult her right hon. Friend the Minister of Pensions, because it is quite clear from this that these pensions are entirely inadequate and that the time has come for a review, which will ease the work of her Department?

38. Miss Irene Ward

asked the Minister of National Insurance to what extent discussions are in progress with the National Assistance Board for improving the scales of supplementary pensions to meet the increasing cost of living for old age pensioners.

Dr. Summerskill

The Regulations increasing National Assistance scales, which were approved by Parliament on 4th May, are coming into operation on 12th June.

Miss Ward

Does the Minister really believe that the new scales adequately compensate for the ever-increasing cost of living to the old age pensioners?

Dr. Summerskill

I think that if the hon. Lady reads the Debates, she will see that an adequate answer was given to her allegation.

Mr. Sydney Silverman

Can my right hon. Friend say how many people, out of the million persons who are in receipt of assistance from the National Assistance Board, are old age pensioners receiving supplementary assistance of this kind?

Dr. Summerskill

Not without notice.