HC Deb 21 February 1952 vol 496 cc409-10
25. Mr. Peter Freeman

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that some surgical boots cost from £12 to £15 a pair; that this charge is often beyond the means of the applicant, who is usually already reduced in earning power because of such disability and who may be unable to follow his occupation accordingly; and whether he will take steps to relieve such hardship.

Mr. Crookshank

Yes, Sir; it is pro-Posed to make a fixed charge of £3 a pair for surgical boots and shoes.

Mr. Freeman

Is it not obvious that this will penalise those who are the greatest sufferers? Will the right hon. Gentleman not reconsider the whole matter in view of the very great difficulties in which these people will be placed?

Mr. Crookshank

The charge of £3 is, of course, about the cost of ordinary footwear which these persons do not have to buy.

Mr. G. Thomas

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the saving made by this charge will be very small, but that it will impose tremendous difficulty on working people to whom £3 is sometimes a week's wages? Will he look at this matter again? It is a monstrous business.