HC Deb 13 February 1956 vol 548 cc2054-5
24. Dame Irene Ward

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance, in view of the introduction of a new Pensions (Increases) Act to cover people who were employed in Government service, he will take steps to improve the position of the non-contributory pensioners, many of whom have small incomes obtained through private pensions schemes and thrift.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Under the National Insurance Act, 1946, these pensions will not be issued to anyone who reaches 70 after 30th September, 1961. They are clearly of a transitional character and are paid by the National Assistance Board, which supplements them where necessary. In these circumstances, I do not think it is necessary to introduce legislation to increases these pensions.

Dame Irene Ward

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the Prime Minister did not make any reference to these pensions being only of a temporary character? Is he aware that the Prime Minister said at Bradford that all people living on small fixed incomes were having a very hard time and that some action would be taken in support of them? May I ask my right hon. Friend not to eliminate the non-contributory pensioners, because I think that that is quite the wrong thing to do?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I know my hon. Friend's views. I can only add that the decision that this should be of a transitional nature was taken under the Act a good many years ago, and that in fact these pensions, which are administered by the National Assistance Board, supplemented where necessary by the Board and sometimes paid on the same order as supplementary assistance, are very closely connected with assistance.

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