HC Deb 07 April 1952 vol 498 cc2292-4
96. Dr. Edith Summerskill

asked the Minister of National Insurance whether he can now make a statement regarding the new scales of payment to be made by the National Assistance Board.

The Minister of National Insurance (Mr. Osbert Peake)

Yes. The National Assistance Board have made proposals for increasing the scales of assistance by 5s. for a single adult and 9s. for a married couple in ordinary cases—with appropriate increases in other rates. I shall be laying the draft Regulations almost immediately, and if they are approved in good time after the Easter Recess it is hoped to bring the new scales into force by the middle of June.

Dr. Summerskill

As we shall have an opportunity of debating these new scales soon after the Easter Recess, I will not press the right hon. Gentleman for details; but could he say, quite broadly, how he relates these new scales to the increased cost of living and the increase in the price of food?

Mr. Peake

These are the recommendations of the Assistance Board. They are the independent statutory authority whose duty it is to draft these Regulations. I think it would be better to leave any discussion on them until the debate. In the meantime, hon. Members may like to know that there will be a White Paper available in the Vote Office tomorrow, giving full details.