HC Deb 11 June 1956 vol 554 cc5-6
5. Mr. Royle

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance if he will abolish the reductions suffered in allowances by tuberculosis in-patients after two months and 12 months, respectively.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

No, Sir. It would not be right to exclude patients suffering from a particular form of illness from the adjustment of National Insurance benefits applicable to all hospital in-patients whose maintenance while in hospital is paid for from public funds.

Mr. Royle

But can I not persuade the right hon. Gentleman to do more for tuberculosis patients? Is he not aware that their progress is very considerably retarded by financial anxiety whilst they are in hospital? When a man has to be in hospital for a very long period, would it not be a good thing that his financial position should be very much better?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I think the present arrangements pay very considerable attention to that. The hon. Member will be aware that no deduction at all is made in respect of the man's maintenance in hospital for eight weeks if he has dependants, and after that it is only 7s. 6d. I think that is a fair and reasonable arrangement.