HC Deb 17 March 1971 vol 813 c1392
5. Mr. William Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how much he estimates will be collected in a full year from increased National Health Service charges.

The Under-Secretary of State for Health and Education, Scottish Office (Mr. Edward Taylor)

The increases to be introduced on 1st April are expected to produce an additional income of about £2½, million in a full year in Scotland.

Mr. Hamilton

Can the hon. Gentleman say whether there will be complete exemption for the increasing army of the unemployed in Scotland? Can he give an assurance that no further increases will be imposed by the Government?

Mr. Taylor

The hon. Gentleman will be aware that the gross income levels for entitlement to exemption and refunds are being raised by up to 30s. a week, so that more people will qualify for exemption.

Mr. Carmichael

Has the hon. Gentleman made any estimate of the increased number of staff who will be required to operate the scheme and what the cost of operating it will be? For the people of Scotland to pay £2½ million seems rather a lot, but it seems to be a small figure to cope with the staff which may be needed.

Mr. Taylor

I would need notice of that question, but the principle is the same. We are raising the income limit, so that more people will qualify for exemption.