HC Deb 24 May 1954 vol 528 cc8-9
15. Mr. Dodds

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance how many regular weekly grants of National Assistance were being made at the latest available date; and how these compare with a similar date in 1951.

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

The number was 1,790,000 in April, 1954, compared with 1,388,000 in April, 1951.

Mr. Dodds

But is not the Minister concerned about this great increase, and will he state whether it is because of this Government failing to hold the cost of living, or is it the shabby treatment accorded to many old-age pensioners?

Mr. Peake

I have often expressed concern at the large numbers in receipt of National Assistance, but the rate of increase is smaller today than it has been for several years past.

Mr. Simmons

Can the Minister say whether figures regarding war pensioners and war widows are tabulated separately and, if not, will he take steps to have that done?

Mr. Peake

I am not aware of any figures showing the number, if any, of war pensioners in receipt of National Assistance.