HC Deb 20 April 1953 vol 514 cc615-6
1. Mr. H. Hynd

asked the Minister of National Insurance how many recipients of National Assistance hold certificates showing that they will become entitled to post-war credits.

The Minister of National Insurance (Mr. Osbert Peake)

I regret that this information is not available.

Mr. Hynd

Will the Minister take note of the suggestion implied in this Question, as many people who have this money owing to them would feel more independent if they could use it rather than accept National Assistance?

Mr. Peake

I can assure the hon. Gentleman that the holding of a post-war credit certificate is not taken into account in computing the needs of an applicant, and as something like 60 per cent. of those receiving supplementation from the Board are over pensionable age it is highly probable that they have claimed and have already had their post-war credit paid to them.

4. Lieut-Colonel Lipton

asked the Minister of National Insurance how many persons in the London area were in receipt of National Assistance on the latest date for which figures are available; and how this number compares with the corresponding date last year.

Mr. Peake

The number of persons receiving regular weekly payments of National Assistance in the inner London region of the Board was 199,055 at the end of March, 1953, compared with 181,448 at the end of March, 1952.

Lieut-Colonel Lipton

Do not these figures indicate that poverty and hardship in the London area have vastly increased? In this year of so-called incentive and festivity is it not something to be rather ashamed of that the number is still rising?

Mr. Peake

We are all concerned about the steady growth—which has gone on ever since 1948—in the number of people receiving assistance. If, however, we can succeed in our efforts to stabilise the cost of living we may hope to see a change for the better.