HC Deb 18 June 1985 vol 81 c160
9. Ms. Richardson

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what action he proposes to take to implement the EEC directive on equal treatment in respect of the invalid care allowance.

Mr. Whitney

The question whether the European Community directive on equal treatment in matters of social security applies to invalid care allowance has been referred to the European Court by the Social Security Commissioner in the case of Mrs. Drake. Any action will depend on the outcome of the commissioner's decision.

Ms. Richardson

It is not absurd that the Government continually wait to be taken to the European Court before they administer social justice? Why should married and cohabiting women, to whom this allowance should have been applied so long ago, have to wait until the Government are dragged through the courts before they receive justice?

Mr. Whitney

I remind the hon. Lady that it was the Labour Government who excluded married women from the provision of invalid care allowance and that to implement this measure would result in a ninefold increase of expenditure under this head: from £11 million to £85 million a year.