HC Deb 07 July 1953 vol 517 cc1040-1
28. Mr. Gower

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what he estimates would be the cost to the Treasury of ensuring that the repayment of post-war credits shall not be postponed solely by the death of the holder prior to the age when he might obtain payment.

Mr. R. A. Butler

The cost would be about £17 million in the first year and £2 million a year thereafter.

Mr. Gower

In view of a widespread feeling of injustice about this aspect of the problem, will the Minister re-examine the possibility of doing something along the lines suggested in the Question.

Mr. Butler

There is clearly a grievance here, to which my hon. Friend has drawn the attention of the House on previous occasions.

Mrs. Braddock

Will the Chancellor say what are the administrative difficulties which prevent the Treasury paying postwar credits to next-of-kin on the date on which the person who owned them would have claimed them had he lived?

Mr. Butler

It is not so much an administrative difficulty as a policy decision not yet to make any such concession.

Mr. Awbery

As the right hon. Gentleman has already made arrangements to pay post-war credits to men at 65 and women at 60, surely it would cost him no more to pay them to the next-of-kin at the date at which the deceased would have drawn them had he lived?

Mr. Butler

That is precisely something which would impose an extra charge. However, I am fully aware of the difficulty, which is the most striking of the several anomalies connected with postwar credits.