HC Deb 26 November 1953 vol 521 cc503-4
17. Mr. J. Paton

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will extend the issue of tobacco tokens to persons who are maintained by the National Assistance Board and who, although of retirement age, are not eligible for retirement pensions.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I am afraid not, Sir. The objections to extending the scope of this concession have been stated on many previous occasions and are, I fear, decisive.

Mr. Paton

Is the Minister aware that the people referred to in the Question are as poor as the poorest of retired pensioners getting National Assistance? How does he justify the maintenance of what is, in effect, discrimination against them?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

On the very grounds which were advanced when these arrangements were introduced by the late Administration, that is to say, to work this scheme without an unduly expensive administrative set up quite disproportionate to the value of the benefits given it has to be based on pensions paid by weekly orders through the pension office.