HC Deb 08 March 1954 vol 524 cc1735-7
43. Mr. Cherwynd

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance what would be the cost of a general increase in war disability pensions to restore their real value to the 1946 level.

The Minister of Pensions and National Insurance (Mr. Osbert Peake)

On the basis of the Cost of Living Index to June, 1947, and the Interim Index of Retail Prices thereafter, the additional cost of so increasing war disability pensions would be of the order of £5,400,000.

Mr. Chetwynd

In view of the smallness of this amount, will not the Minister give very high priority to granting this legitimate and lonGoverdue payment to war pensioners?

Mr. Peake

I appreciate the high opinion of this Government entertained by the hon. Member, but two and a half years is a comparatively short period in which to expect us to make good all the damage done in six years of Socialist administration.

Miss Lee

Is the Minister aware that the figure he has given is less than one-fourteenth of the money which his Government are throwing away quite needlessly in the Suez Canal area, and that if they produced a civilised policy there the right hon. Gentleman would be able to meet this demand in full, and many more?

Mr. Peake

I very much hope that before we leave office we shall be able to restore all the damage done by six years of Socialism.

Mr. Shinwell

Are we to understand that that is a Government assurance, and that the right hon. Gentleman is entitled to give that assurance on behalf of the Government? Will he refrain, in future, from giving silly answers?

Mr. Peake

All I was expressing was a hope of something which we may be able to do before the end of this Parliament.

Mr. Chetwynd

Is the Minister aware that his original answer to my supplementary question was very unworthy of him, and not in keeping with his usual high standard?

44. Mr. Chetwynd

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance what percentage of applications for pension in 1952 and 1953 were granted without recourse to appeal; what was the percentage of appeals; and what percentage of these was granted.

Mr. Peake

I assume that the hon. Member refers to applications for pension in respect of service with the Forces after 2nd September, 1939. As the reply contains a number of figures, I will, with

1952 1953
Disablement Widows and dependants Disablement Widows and dependants
Percentage of claims accepted without recourse to Pensions Appeal Tribunal 52 73 50 77
Percentage of appeals against rejections* 36 38 31 35
Percentage of appeals allowed by Pensions Appeal Tribunal* 17 10 14 9
* The figures given represent the percentages of appeals and appeals allowed in the two years, many of which were in respect of claims rejected in previous years. There is no time limit for appeal against the rejection of claims.