HC Deb 15 July 1968 vol 768 cc1011-2
11. Mr. G. Campbell

asked the Minister of Social Security if she will make a statement on the social security arrangements for housewives who become completely incapacitated, owing to illness or accident, but do not need to be in-patients in hospital.

Mrs. Hart

I would refer the hon. Member to the replies I gave to the hon. Member for Newbury (Mr. Astor) and other hon. Members on 8th April.—[Vol. 762, c. 874–6.]

Mr. Campbell

As such persons do not even qualify for supplementary benefits, and as I heard the right hon. Lady make a sympathetic speech on this subject yesterday afternoon in Trafalgar Square, why cannot she now be more definite about future action?

Mrs. Hart

I appreciated the fact that the hon. Gentleman was there yesterday afternoon. I think that this was one of the few Trafalgar Square occasions when we rose above party politics. The hon. Gentleman will know from what I said in Trafalgar Square that I outlined the difficulties of moving, as it were, tomorrow or the day after, into a totally new scheme of this kind.

Mr. Molloy

Despite this Government's all-time record in the raising of social security pensions, this nevertheless makes even worse the position of the ordinary housewife who is incapacitated. Will my right hon. Friend be prepared to consider meeting the officers of the Disablement Incomes Group to go into detail concerning this problem?

Mrs. Hart

I assure my hon. Friend that on a number of occasions over the last few months I have met Mrs. du Boisson and other officials of the Disablement Incomes Group and we have discussed the whole range of problems involved here.

Lord Balniel

As I shared the platform with the right hon. Lady, might I ask her whether she accepts as a principle that disabled persons who cannot contribute to the insurance scheme and cannot receive supplementary benefits should be brought within the social security system?

Mrs. Hart

. I think that I implied as much yesterday. I said that I recognised that there is a gap here. I explained the historical reasons why the gap existed and what I believe should be our philosophy of social insurance to enable us to cover the gap in our social security system.