HC Deb 18 February 1963 vol 672 cc26-7
38. Mr. Tomney

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance whether he will ensure that National Assistance benefit is paid to Mr. K. Rosser, 46 Denham House, W.12, from 21st August to 1st December, 1962.

Mr. N. Macpherson

No, Sir. This is a matter for the National Assistance Board. I understand that the Chairman of the Board is writing to the hon. Member.

Mr. Tomney

Is the Minister aware that Mr. Rosser is a blind person and that his benefit was abruptly cut off on 25th August, apparently because he did not wish to train as an audio-typist at a centre outside London, to which the Ministry wished to send him? Mr. Rosser said that he preferred to train in London and he was subsequently granted a training position there which will become available next Whitsun. In these circumstances, he is surely entitled to benefit from 25th August to 1st December, during which period he maintained himself from his own resources. Does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that there was no reason why the Board should have withheld benefit, since Mr. Rosser volunteered to be trained but wished to be trained near his home? A place is now available in London. Should not the Board now pay this benefit?

Mr. Macpherson

This is a matter for the National Assistance Board. It does not make retrospective payments but payments for current needs. If it had thought that in Mr. Rosser's case there was need it would have made a payment, but he was living at home and was not taking any course at the time to train himself to become independent.