HC Deb 28 February 1955 vol 537 cc1721-2
55. Mr. Marlowe

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance whether he is aware that many war-disabled pensioners who draw National Assistance will receive no net increaseas a result of the new scale of pensions, in as much as their assistance benefit will be reduced by an equivalent amount; and whether in the case of disability pensions he will make an exception from the general principle of reducing National Assistance by the amount of an increase in income.

Mr. Peake

No, Sir. All disablement pensioners receiving National Assistance have benefited to the extent of the increase in the assistance rates at least; and up to 20s. of their disability pensions is disregarded in calculating the assistance grant.

Mr. Marlowe

Is my right hon. Friend aware that by the very reason of their disablement many of these men are prevented, as other people are not, from increasing their incomes in any other way. and is it not unfortunate if, when they appear to get an increase in pension, an equivalent amount is taken away from their National Assistance? Does not the right hon. Gentleman think that in the case of war-disabled pensioners there is a case for departing from the general principle?

Mr. Peake

No, Sir. I cannot agree that that is the case. The 20s. disregard puts these men in a much more favourable position than others who have to apply for National Assistance.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

Will not the right hon. Gentleman try to make some sort of distinction between the war disabled people and the others, because the pension payable to the war disabled has nothing at all to do with insurance and it should have nothing at all to do with National Assistance either?

Mr. Peake

The question, of course, has nothing to do with insurance. As I pointed out, these men are already under the existing practice and legislation in a more favourable position than others who have to apply for National Assistance.