§ 7. Mr. Hannam
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will now take steps to introduce a disability pension for the registered disabled, in the light of recent representations.
§ Mr. Dean
I would refer my hon. Friend to the National Insurance Bill now before the House which includes a substantial package of selective improvements for the chronic sick. I am writing to my hon. Friend on the individual case which I believe concerns him.
§ Mr. Hannam
I thank the Under-Secretary of State for that answer. Would he not accept that, in view of the reports showing that 1,250,000 disabled adults living in private households face disproportionate increases in costs of special diets, equipment and clothing, he should give careful attention to the recommendations of the Disablement Income Group for a national disability pension or income?
§ Mr. Dean
Yes, that is one of the reasons for the substantial increase in the cash benefits under the National Insurance Bill, and why my right hon. Friend has already assured the House that this is only the first step among other measures which will be taken, both in cash and care, to help this section of the community.
§ Dr. Summerskill
Could the hon. Gentleman say why the Government felt unable to accept the Amendment of the Opposition which sought to cover disabled married women who have opted out of the National Insurance scheme?
§ Sir B. Rhys Williams
Would my hon. Friend give particularly favourable consideration to the representations of the Disablement Income Group in regard to a disability income, which would not only bring this country into line with other countries but encourage the long- 210 term unemployed among the disabled to re-enter work and make themselves independent?