HC Deb 03 February 1971 vol 810 cc1652-3
13. Mr. Adam Hunter

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many home helps were employed in Scotland and in the County of Fife, respectively, in 1963, 1967 and 1969.

Mr. Edward Taylor

With permission, I will circulate these figures in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Hunter

Is the Under-Secretary aware that a great deal more could be done to improve this service, that an improvement in the hourly rate of pay would considerably help, and that many of the retired people who contribute to the cost of this service find it more difficult now to make a contribution because of the fall in the value of the old-age pension by 7s. 6d. per week since last June?

Mr. Taylor

I fully accept all that the hon. Gentleman says about the importance of this service. On looking into the matter following the tabling of the hon. Gentleman's Question, I was glad to find that the number of households in the County of Fife receiving home help service increased by 66 per cent. from 1963 to 1969 whereas the comparable increase for Scotland as a whole was only 17 per cent. Therefore, Fife is doing very well in this connection.

Sir J. Gilmour

I welcome the progress which has been made in the County of Fife. Does my hon. Friend agree that spending extra money here might relieve pressure on the hospital service and therefore save money in the long run.

Mr. Taylor

I fully accept what my hon. Friend says. This is an important service, one which we are constantly reviewing, and one which we hope can expand.

Following are the figures:

Full-time Part-time Full-time Equivalent
1963 836 8,101 4,034
1967 722 10,911 4,898
1969 687 11,402 5,095
1963 582 121
1967 999 208
1969 1,071 178