HC Deb 07 November 1950 vol 480 cc756-7
27 Dr. Barnett Stross

asked the Minister of National Insurance (1) whether she will reconsider the cases where hardship allowance is granted and include cases where a worker can no longer be employed at his pre-accident work, although his loss of faculty has been assessed at nil;

(2) whether she is aware that medical boards assess loss of faculty by means of a fixed percentage irrespective of the great diversity of occupations and types of worker; and whether she will consider a substantial increase in the special hardship allowance;

(3) when she proposes to grant to the injured workman the right to appeal against a medical board's provisional assessment, without the lapse of two years' time.

The Minister of National Insurance (Dr. Edith Summerskill)

These matters are among those which, as I said in my reply to my hon. Friend yesterday, I am discussing with the T.U.C. General Council.

r. Stross

While I accept the answer so far given, may I press the Minister with reference to the third of these Questions? Is she aware that the officers of the Ministry have a right of appeal against any assessment of the worker, whereas the injured person has no right of appeal against the Ministry at present? Could she not give me an answer to this Question stating that she is reconsidering the matter and will, perhaps, now give a decision?

Dr. Summerskill

Yes, Sir. I am very much in sympathy with this point but, as I have discussed this matter very recently with the T.U.C., I would ask my hon. Friend to be a little patient in order that these discussions shall not be prejudiced.