HC Deb 15 July 1968 vol 768 c1009
9. Sir B. Rhys Williams

asked the Minister of Social Security on what basis National Insurance benefits are now calculated.

Mrs. Hart

To deal adequately with such a wide-ranging question would require an excessively long answer. In any case the answer would be different for different benefits. If the hon. Member will let me know what particular benefit, or benefits, he has in mind I will write to him.

Sir B. Rhys Williams

Is not the plain fact that, in assessing contributions and benefits, we have lost all contact with reality in National Insurance? Is it not wrong that 2½ million families should need to take supplementary benefits on top of National Insurance? Has not the time come to wipe the slate clean and reconstitute the National Insurance Fund so that it does what is required of it?

Mrs. Hart

Supplementary benefits, of course, are: a separate matter from National Insurance benefits. I am afraid that if the hon. Gentleman is asking me to discuss in a Parliamentary Question and Answer the reality of our social insurance scheme, I must advise him that he would do better to raise it in another way on another occasion.