§ 10. Mr. Gwilym Roberts
asked the Minister of Social Security what plans she has for increasing supplementary benefits; and if she will make a statement.
§ Mr. Roberts
Would not my right hon. Friend agree that supplementary benefits were decreased at the end of October, 1967, and that some adjustment in these benefits will soon be called for to meet 927 the problems of devaluation and the general increase in earnings which is to be expected?
§ Lord Balniel
Could the right hon. Lady, if possible, answer this question with a "Yes" or "No"? Does she intend to increase the supplementary benefit level before Christmas?
§ Mr. Spriggs
Will my right hon. Friend consider increasing supplementary allowances at the same time as the statutory benefits are increased?
§ Mrs. Hart
I am well aware of the kind of problems which my hon. Friend raises. There is a great deal of confusion among pensioners as between those who receive supplementary benefits and those who do not. It has always been found necessary to take full account of the real needs of the poorer section of the community in raising supplementary benefits at different times for those on retirement pensions. However, there is a problem here and I am considering it closely.
§ Mr. Frederic Harris
Does the right hon. Lady appreciate that hon. Members are under daily pressure from poor people in regard to increasing supplementary benefits, and that they cannot understand how the Government can give a general increase in family allowances and yet not face up to this problem, which is causing considerable distress?