HC Deb 02 December 1968 vol 774 cc1028-9
39. Mr. Howie

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will seek to arrange for the National Insurance contributions of mature students in teacher training colleges to be credited to them for the duration of the course of study.

Mr. Pentland

No, Sir. These students are not obliged to pay contributions for periods of full-time study, but in fairness to the general body of contributors to the National Insurance Scheme there must be strict limits to the circumstances in. which contributions can be credited.

Mr. Howie

But is it not wrong that, although these mature students need not pay contributions, they forgo their pension rights and other benefits meantime? Is there any reason why mature students should be treated worse in this respect than young students, whose family responsibililies are usually much less and who can the more readily afford the contributions involved?

Mr. Pentland

No, Sir. If the mature student was paying the non-employed rate of contribution there are special arrangements enabling him to have certain cover if he had a substantial period of employment before the course. He would benefit by this concession, which is for the mature students.

Sir B. Rhys Williams

Has not the time cone to eliminate the whole antiquated nonsense of counting contributions and stamp-licking, and to integrate National Insurance contributions into Income Tax?

Mr. Pentland

That is another question. If the hon. Member puts it on the Order Paper I shall try to answer it.

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