HC Deb 12 February 1951 vol 484 c5
4. Brigadier Clarke

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if he will consider subsidising fuel for old age pensioners in view of the fact that they have great difficulty in buying their present ration due to the high cost of living.

Mr. Robens

I regret that I am unable to consider the suggestion made in the hon. Gentleman's Question. Old age pensioners finding their income inadequate should, of course, apply to the National Assistance Board for supplementary grants.

Brigadier Clarke

Does the Minister appreciate that these poor people are now not only rationed by the purse but by the incompetence of His Majesty's Government? Does he consider that "fair shares for all"?

Mr. Robens

No doubt there will be problems for some old age pensioners, but I understand they are met by the reasonable arrangements made by the National Assistance Board.

Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd

In view of the evidence of hardship to old age pensioners in this matter in Birmingham, and no doubt, in other places, would the hon. Gentleman confer with the Minister of National Insurance to make sure that the Assistance Board revise their rates upwards where necessary in order to meet the increased price?

Mr. Robens

I am sure that the Assistance Board deal generously with old age pensioners who are in need.

Mr. Harrison

Could my hon. Friend make arrangements for old age pensioners to have a greater allowance of coal because of their greater need in particularly cold weather?

Mr. Robens

Where there is need for additional coal the local fuel overseer is entitled to make arrangements for these people.