HC Deb 07 February 1966 vol 724 cc23-4
36. Mr. Hamling

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what steps are being taken in the review of social security provisions to consider the advisability of public insurance against risks arising from motor accidents where liability is not covered by normal car insurance policies.

Mr. Houghton

This particular form of insurance is outside the scope of our social security review, but the provisions for disablement and widowhood, however they arise, are included.

Mr. Hamling

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there have been several distressing cases in recent months of pedestrians being involved in and being held liable for accidents, which have caused much distress both to the persons affected and those causing the accidents?

Mr. Houghton

Yes, I am aware of that, but there are more accidents than those caused by motor cars, cycles and pedestrians, and we have to cover all risks of disablement and widowhood. That is what we are doing in the review, but no accidents due to specific causes are included.

Mr. Frederic Harris

Does the Minister not appreciate that there is a very real point here? A considerable number of accidents are taking place and people are being badly injured without any cover of insurance at all, merely because the Government themselves are not insisting that everyone should be carrying insurance as well as Road Fund licences?

Mr. Houghton

It is a matter of opinion whether a risk of this kind should be carried under a State scheme of social insurance. I have already said that in the major review we are giving consideration to all disablement and widowhood from whatever cause. That is social security. Insurance risks in many cases are quite a different thing.

Mr. Hugh Jenkins

Is my right hon. Friend aware that, so far as motor insurance is concerned, it is a matter which is being considered now by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Transport along the lines which I have recommended to her?

Mr. Howe

On that matter, which the Minister seems reluctant to answer, for well over a year now the Minister of Transport and her predecessor have been allegedly negotiating better conditions with the Motor Insurers' Bureau to get proper compensation at least for the victims of hit-and-run drivers, and would he give urgent attention to encouraging his right hon. Friend to bring these negotiations to an early conclusion?

Mr. Houghton

That is not a matter for me.