HC Deb 21 June 1954 vol 529 c4
8. Mr. Dodds

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance how many people have applied for National Assistance since 1st January, 1954, up to the latest convenient date; in how many cases grants have been made; and the additional expenditure so far for this year.

Mr. Turton

The National Assistance Board inform me that they received about 1 million applications for National Assistance between 16th December, 1953, and 25th May, 1954. Of these, about 400,000 resulted in the grant of a weekly allowance and about 430,000 in a single payment to meet a temporary situation.

I regret that the figure asked for in the last part of the Question is not available.

Mr. Dodds

Do not these figures suggest that there is a good deal of misery in the country, particularly among the old-age pensioners? Is it not time that the matter was taken rather more seriously than it has been in the past?

Mr. Turton

I think the figures show the very great work which the National Assistance Board is doing in relieving distress among old-age pensioners.