HC Deb 13 July 1971 vol 821 cc201-2
20. Mr. Bob Brown

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what investigations he undertook in order to satisfy himself that there are no elderly people in Newcastle-upon-Tyne eligible for supplementary benefits who are not receiving them.

Mr. Dean

No investigations have been undertaken for this purpose. Continuous efforts are made to ensure that elderly people throughout the country receive the supplementary pensions to which they are entitled.

Mr. Brown

That is an extremely disappointing reply. The Secretary of State is reported in the Newcastle Evening Chronicle as having publicly said in the city that he was satisfied that there were no old people in Newcastle who needed supplementary benefit and who were not receiving it. Is the hon. Gentleman aware that all thinking people in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, including the principal officer for social services, regard that as a lot of codswallop, and will he prevail upon his right hon. Friend to do much more than he is doing now to persuade elderly people that there is no stigma in seeking supplementary benefit and that it is theirs as of right?

Mr. Dean

I am sure that my right hon. Friend did not say that, because no right hon. or hon. Member is keener than he is to see that those who are entitled to benefits receive them.