HC Deb 14 March 1955 vol 538 cc928-9
16. Mr. G. Jeger

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance whether he is aware that recipients of the increase of2s. 6d. in National Assistance are being told that this should be saved for clothing needs; and, in view of the fact that the increase is to help towards meeting the higher cost of living, if he will ensure that the area officers of the National Assistance Board continue to issue clothing grants where necessary.

Mr. Peake

The Board is not aware that any such advice has been given. The scale rates governing the amounts paid by the Board are, however, intended to cover all ordinary expenditure, including renewals of clothing and household equipment, but the Board also has power to make lump sum payments to meet exceptional needs and it will continue to use this power in the way it has always done.

Mr. Jeger

While thanking the Minister for that very satisfactory reply, may I ask him to ensure that all recipients of National Assistance payments are made aware of the position, because many of them are under the impression that the extra money is to be reserved or saved for clothing needs? Is he aware that I have seen a letter which implies that, although it does not say so in so many words?

Mr. Peake

If the hon. Gentleman knows of any specific case where advice such as he alleges in his Question has been given, I hope that he will send me details of it.