HC Deb 16 July 1953 vol 517 c2243
42. Mr. E. Johnson

asked the Minister of Health if he will consult the Minister of National Insurance with a view to amending the National Assistance Act, 1948, so as to enable the National Assist ance Board or local authorities to grant extra financial assistance, in appropriate cases, to old people who live alone.

Mr. Iain Macleod

The responsibility for providing financial assistance rests on the National Assistance Board, who already have all the powers necessary for assisting persons whose resources are insufficient to meet their needs.

Mr. Johnson

Would my right hon. Friend not agree that there are many cases in which a little extra assistance from the local authority as well as the Assistance Board would arrest the deterioration in the condition of old people, and thus enable them to go on living in their own homes instead of being transferred to special accommodation under Part III of the Act?

Mr. Macleod

I do not agree with my hon. Friend, because one of the essential pillars of the social service legislation of the last few years has been that we should separate the provision of accommodation from financial assistance. I think it has been left rightly to the State.