HC Deb 16 November 1959 vol 613 cc778-9
14. Dame Irene Ward

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance when it is his intention to increase the £80 maximum allowance in respect of educational costs for the children of officers and other ranks killed in the war, having regard to the fact that this figure has remained unaltered since 1945.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Although the maximum rate of this particular allowance has not been changed for some time, there have been substantial increases in the rates of the basic allowances for the children of war widows and for war orphans, and in the provision made by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Education under the Education Act.

Dame Irene Ward

I agree that this is probably a small matter, but can my right hon. Friend explain why, among all the things which have been increased since 1945 and, particularly, since this Government came into power, this allowance, which is of such importance to people who wish to educate, perhaps, their own children, has not been increased? It seems very odd.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

The reason, I think, is that this particular allowance has been always regarded as a supplement designed to show some measure of preference and priority for the children of the war disabled and of those who lost their lives in the war; but it is, nonetheless, a supplement to the main provision made by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Education. As my hon. Friend knows, that main provision has been increased very substantially over the years, and, therefore, from the point of view of war pensions, we have thought it right to make the increase, as I said in my Answer, in very substantial degree, in the basic allowances for children which, of course, unlike this allowance, go to all war orphans or war widows' children.

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