HC Deb 22 June 1964 vol 697 cc14-5
19. Mr. J. Griffiths

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance whether, having regard to the increase in the number of persons in receipt of benefits under the National Insurance (Industrial Injuries) Acts whose income has to be supplemented by the National Assistance Board, he will introduce legislation to increase the benefits under those Acts.

Mr. Wood

No, Sir. There has been a steady rise in the numbers entitled to such benefits and the very small proportion who receive supplements from the National Assistance Board has not increased over the years.

Mr. Griffiths

I am glad to know that they have not increased, but does not the right hon. Gentleman think that the fact that some people disabled by industrial injury or by industrial disease have to have recourse to assistance is one of the major reasons why he should bring legislation before the House to increase the payment, particularly as the Industrial Injuries Fund now stands at more than £300 million?

Mr. Wood

I think the right hon. Gentleman will know better than anyone that the National Assistance Board has always existed to provide for special needs. Again, I think he knows better than anyone that it is conceivable—there is nothing wrong about it—that someone with a low rate of disablement benefit because he has had a small loss of faculty may qualify for supplement from the National Assistance Board. Thirdly, one reason why the Board comes into a number of these cases is because of the disregard of a certain amount of Industrial Injuries benefit.