HC Deb 18 November 1957 vol 578 c6
10. Mr. G. Thomas

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance what Christmas bonus he proposes to grant to old-age pensioners in view of the fact that the proposed increase in the basic allowance will not be paid until the new year.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I assume the hon. Gentleman has retirement pensioners in mind, and in that connection I share the view of my predecessors that the payments which the hon. Gentleman suggests would not he appropriate to a compulsory scheme of contributory insurance.

Mr. Thomas

But is the Minister aware that he would have the support of the entire community, I am quite confident, if, in view of the accepted need of the old folk, which the House acknowledges and which the right hon. Gentleman is attempting to put right in January, some such gift could be made? In those circumstances, could not he reconsider this question?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I believe that this matter of a Christmas bonus has been raised every year, certainly, for the last six or seven years, but it has. I think, generally been thought that an act of that sort—of a charitable kind, and a very admirable thing for voluntary bodies to undertake—is not an appropriate use of the funds of a contributory pension scheme, the benefits of which are available without any regard to the needs of the recipient.

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