HC Deb 25 February 1957 vol 565 cc853-4
43. Mr. Allaun

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance what recommendations he has received from the National Assistance Board as to how much supplementary allowances should be raised when the Rent Act comes into force in order to reflect the officially estimated increase in the rents of over 4 million homes by an average of 10s. a week; and what ceiling is proposed to such allowances.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Rent is provided for separately as an addition to the scale rates and no special arrangements are needed to enable the Board's officers to deal adequately with changes in rent.

Mr. Allaun

When pensioners' rents are raised by 10s. or 15s. a week, will the Minister agree to a similar rise in their supplementary allowance or to raise the basic pension, since otherwise many thousands of pensioners will be put on the streets?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Of course, the first part of that supplementary question was wholly hypothetical. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh"] As regards the second part, if the hon. Member had observed clearly my main Answer, it would be that no new prescription of scales is required because the Board already has power to deal with changes in rent.

Mr. W. R. Williams

Is the Minister aware that if he honestly believes that the rent of these people will not go up in the very near future, he is about the only person in the country who thinks so?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

If the hon. Member wishes to put questions on rent, he will, no doubt, put them to my right hon. Friend concerned. I am answering the question on the Order Paper which has been put down by his hon. Friend.