HC Deb 06 February 1956 vol 548 c1325
21. Mr. Royle

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance if he will increase, substantially, the sickness benefit paid to long-term tuberculosis patients in sanatoria, and particularly the allowance to dependants.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

No, Sir. The sickness benefit rates for these patients and their dependants were substantially increased as recently as last May, in connection with the general increase in benefit rates provided by the National Insurance Act, 1954.

Mr. Royle

Is not the Minister aware that concern about financial circumstances at home worries these T.B. patients and that that worry has two effects? First, the patients often do not stay for the full treatment; and, second, their anxiety about financial matters hinders their improvement in health?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I would not altogether quarrel with the hon. Gentleman's general view, but I think that he, too, must make allowance for the fact that these rates were very substantially increased quite recently.