HC Deb 01 May 1967 vol 746 cc63-4
11. Mr. Gwilym Roberts

asked the Minister of Social Security if she will now take steps to assist the redistribution of income by increasing social security payments and by enabling lower-paid workers to obtain social security benefit.

Miss Herbison

I would refer my hon. Friend to what I said in the House on these matters in the debate on 20th April.—[Vol. 745, c. 852.]

Mr. Roberts

Does not the Minister agree that the extension of social security benefits to lower-paid workers is a vital part of an effective incomes policy? Does she not agree that there should be a national minimum wage below which earnings should not be allowed to fall?

Miss Herbison

This Question does not deal with a national minimum wage. I am not responsible for that side of the problem. What I am responsible for as a Minister in the Government is to find a method whereby we shall help those families when the father is in work or out of work. I said in the debate that we shall make our announcement in the summer.

Mr. Dean

Does the right hon. Lady realise that in the debate to which she has referred there was contradictory emphasis in what she said and what the Minister without Portfolio said? Can she see that this confusion, which is widely shared outside, is cleared up?

Miss Herbison

I add no more to saying that we shall announce in the summer our plans for dealing with this very important matter.