HC Deb 07 March 1966 vol 725 cc1710-1
44. Mr. Carter-Jones

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance if she will seek to increase the National Assistance allowance paid to mentally handicapped young people who are receiving industrial or other training.

Mr. Pentland

I have no reason to think that the provision made by the existing National Assistance rates which, as my hon. Friend will appreciate, are at present higher in real terms than ever before, is in any way deficient in such cases. But if my hon. Friend has an individual case in mind, I will gladly look into it.

Mr. Carter-Jones

While thanking my hon. Friend for that Answer, and for his sympathy, may I ask him to reconsider this matter in the light of the fact that handicapped children and adults have the problem of extra cleaning and breakages, which are a burden upon the parents and the individual? Would he please reconsider this?

Mr. Pentland

Yes. If there are special needs arising out of the industrial occupation of the mentally handicapped, then the National Assistance Board would either make a special addition to the weekly grant or it would make a lump sum grant to cover the additional cost.

Mr. John Wells

Is the Minister aware that there is a special zone containing a number of children who scarcely fall within his orbit, yet very nearly do so? Will he make special steps to liaise with the Minister of Health and the Secretary of State for Education and Science about this handful of cases, because only National Assistance can provide for them? Will he go out of his way to see that the normal National Assistance disregards do not apply in the case of these mentally handicapped young people?

Mr. Pentland

Yes, Sir. We are looking into all these matters.

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