HC Deb 08 April 1968 vol 762 cc865-6
13. Mr. Higgins

asked the Minister of Social Security what studies have been made as to the desirability of compiling a comprehensive register of all those of pensionable age and over.

Mr. Loughlin

This has been considered, but is not thought to be a viable way of ensuring that entitlement to benefits is fully known, since it could not be based on any compulsory requirements to register.

Mr. Higgins

Does not the Minister agree that a register of this kind would make it easier to analyse the problems suffered by these people, and particularly those above supplementary benefit level? How many old-age non-pensioners in receipt of supplementary benefits have had their books stamped "over pensionable age"?

Mr. Loughlin

I cannot give, off-hand, the figures which the hon. Member requested in his second supplementary question. The problem about a register which would give us the information which we require is that it would have to be a compulsory register, and keeping it up to date would be a continuous process. I am not unsympathetic to the hon. Member's suggestion, but he will appreciate that we do not want a compulsory register.