HC Deb 01 August 1966 vol 733 cc20-1
29. Mr. Hamling

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance what further steps she will take to provide social benefits for the elderly dependants of single women.

Miss Herbison

Proposals which will help those in this group who are most in need having already been made in the Ministry of Social Security Bill. We shall continue to take account of their position in the course of our general review.

Mr. Hamling

Is my right hon. Friend aware that a large number of women looking after dependent relatives suffer great hardship? Would she bear their situation in mind, particularly in the next 12 months?

Miss Herbison

Certainly. Mostly these are single women, many of whom have had to give up their jobs. At present there are 9,500 of these women who are receiving an allowance from the National Assistance Board. The new provisions in the Ministry of Social Security Bill will be of great assistance to those women and very often to the old people of whom they are taking care.

Dame Irene Ward

Is not this a suitable opportunity for the right hon. Lady to tell us when we are to have the results of this overall review?

Miss Herbison

The hon. Lady has asked that time and time again. She does not seem to have been aware of what has been happening in the House in the last year—and it is something of which we are very proud in our Department. Again I emphasise—and I hope that it will go home this time—that we have not been waiting until the complete review has been finished. In October of this year we bring in the earnings-related benefits to help the unemployed, the sick and the widowed. On 28th November of this year we bring in the provisions of the Ministry of Social Security Bill, which will help the non-pensioners about whom the hon. Lady is concerned.

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