HC Deb 22 March 1965 vol 709 cc1-3
1. Mr. Gresham Cooke

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance if she is satisfied that all citizens who are liable to pay National Insurance contributions do so at the present time; and how often checks are made to ensure that the law is complied with in this respect.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance (Mr. Norman Pentland)

Inevitably there are people who seek to evade their liability. We are constantly on the watch for offenders, however, and I am satisfied that the amount of undetected non-compliance is relatively small. It would not be in the public interest to disclose the nature or frequency of the checks which are applied.

Mr. Gresham Cooke

Would the Joint Parliamentary Secretary agree that there are extraordinary cases which come to light from time to time of men who have not subscribed for, say, ten years of their working lives? Would it not be kinder to all concerned if people who fall from grace could be caught up at an early stage so that they do not lose their pensions and have to rely on National Assistance? Will he have a special inquiry made to see whether there are a lot of these cases?

Mr. Pentland

Yes, Sir. I will gladly look into what the hon. Gentleman has said.

Mr. Bence

Does the responsibility for the under-payment by an individual rest with the employer of that person in respect of employers' contributions since very often it is not the employee himself who has neglected to make contributions but the employer?

Mr. Pentland

Yes, Sir. In many cases that is correct. Graduated and flat rate contributions for 23 million employed persons are the responsibility of employers, who are periodically visited by about 1,200 inspectors stationed throughout the country.