HC Deb 15 February 1954 vol 523 c1624
4. Mr. Yates

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance if he is aware that Mrs. Ellen Pountney, old age pensioner of Wellington Street, Win son Green, Birmingham, has been ordered by the Ministry of Pensions Appeal Tribunal to pay £125 in respect of pension paid in excess; why such a mistake occurred in his Department; and, in view of the hardship imposed upon this pensioner and her invalid husband, what action he proposes to take.

Mr. Peake

I understand that Mrs. Pountney has been granted leave to appeal to the Commissioner against the decision of the local tribunal. It would therefore be improper for me to comment on the case.

Mr. Yates

Whilst I appreciate that answer, does the Minister realise that this old-age pensioner had to maintain her invalid husband for 28 years, and that if, in fact, the Commissioner requests that she should pay at the rate of 3s. a week, it will take her 16 years to repay the sum? In view of the fact that it was stated that she did not act fraudulently, will the Minister use his discretion and review this case compassionately so that these old age pensioners should not be haunted in this way for the rest of their lives?

Mr. Peake

As the lady whose case we are discussing has entered an appeal with the Commissioner, I think we must await the result of the appeal before discussing it.