HC Deb 27 January 1969 vol 776 cc926-7
19. Sir B. Rhys Williams

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the additional amount of money he will raise by putting National Insurance contributions on a graduated basis.

Mr. Crossman

I must ask the hon. Gentleman to await the publication tomorrow of the White Paper on the new earnings-related pension scheme.

Sir B. Rhys Williams

Would the Secretary of State explain the point of raising National Insurance contributions by putting them on a graduated basis if the money is dissipated again by giving graduated benefits? Is he not giving most money to those with the least need? Will he give an undertaking that if more money is to be available for spending he will give it to the disabled, the over-80s, and children in poverty, and not to people who are already the best-off in society?

Mr. Crossman

The only assurance I can give the House today is that, when the House debates the White Paper, as it will no doubt wish to do, I will explain the reasons.

29. Mr. Judd

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will now make a statement on the Government's plans for a comprehensive wage-related system of social security.

60. Mr. Barnes

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will now make a statement on the Government's new plan for social security.

Mr. Crossman

The White Paper containing proposals for a new earnings-related pension scheme will be published tomorrow. In order to make the proposals readily available to the public, a summary version of the White Paper priced Is. will be published simultaneously.

Mr. Judd

Is my right hon. Friend aware that many of us wish to congratulate him on the completion of this mammoth preparatory task? In view of the great deal of public interest in this matter, may I ask how soon it will be before the Government introduce legislation?

Mr. Crossman

Legislation will certainly not be introduced before next Session, but I hope early next Session. As for my hon. Friend's congratulations, I advise him—though I am delighted to find him so enthusiastic—to wait until he has seen which parts he likes better than others.

Mr. Barnes

Would my right hon. Friend comment on the detailed versions of some of his plans which have already appeared in the Press? Would he agree that the present tendency for so many matters to be announced or reported in the Press before being formally announced should, if possible, be prevented?

Mr. Crossman

I believe that when my hon. Friend reads the White Paper he will be struck more by the contrast which it shows between the comprehensive position and the bits and pieces which have dribbled into the Press in the last four years.

Sir A. V. Harvey

Can the Minister say to what extent the White Paper will vary from what we have already read in the Press?

Mr. Crossman

I must leave the hon. and gallant Member in nervous anticipation of publication.