HC Deb 31 May 1954 vol 528 c873
6. Dr. King

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance if he will introduce legislation to extend the family allowance to the age of 16 in the case of an ineducable child looked after at home by its parents.

Mr. Peake

I cannot undertake to promote legislation especially for this purpose, but the point has been noted for consideration at a suitable opportunity.

Dr. King

Is the Minister aware that parents who look after a mentally-defective child—a child who will always be a complete financial liability—are not only among the finest citizens in the country but are also saving money for the country and the Ministry of Health? Will the right hon. Gentleman take steps to remedy the anomaly by which the mentally-defective child at the age of 15 is regarded as a wage-earning adult?

Mr. Peake

The hon. Member will realise that I went as far as possible in the new Regulations, made a year ago, to extend this provision to the class of child which he has in mind. He has made a good point, however, and as soon as an opportunity for legislation occurs we shall certainly deal with it.