HC Deb 22 February 1954 vol 524 cc32-3
61. Mr. McKay

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the actuary's report on the National Insurance schemes will be ready for the Phillips Committee to examine; and what arrangements are being made to get a report from the committee at the earliest possible date.

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. John Boyd-Carpenter)

The Committee under the chairmanship of Sir Thomas Phillips is reviewing the economic and financial problems involved in the provision for old age, and has, of course, taken evidence from the Government Actuary on the emerging cost to the National Insurance Fund for retirement pensions. The Committee is thus not dependent for essential information on the completion of the Actuary's report to the Treasury under Section 39 of the National Insurance Act, 1946, which will deal with the operation of that Act during the period ending 31st March, 1954, and the financial condition of the Fund, including the adequacy or otherwise of the contributions payable, at that date.

I am sure that the Committee will lose no time over its task.

Mr. McKay

Does not the Minister think that when matters of such urgency have to be considered it would be wise to fix a date at which the report shall come forward? There is no doubt that throughout the country there is a great need for something to be done in regard to pensions and other insurance benefits.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I am perfectly certain that Sir Thomas Phillips and his colleagues realise the importance of the task on which they are engaged and I have every reason to believe that they are getting on with it.