§ Mr. HUNT
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) whether the accumulated funds of friendly societies, when they become approved societies, must be or may be used to give sickness and other benefits during the first six months after the National Insurance Act comes into operation, and during which time benefits are not paid under the Act; and (2) what will become of the accumulated funds of the friendly societies which become approved societies; and who will have the control of and spending these accumulated funds?
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
The accumulated funds of friendly societies may be used to continue sickness and other benefits during the first six months after the Act comes into operation. The Registrar of Friendly Societies has issued to registered societies a form of provisional scheme accompanied by a table which will enable societies, in the simplest fashion, to ascertain the amount of reduction which they may make without prejudicially affecting their solvency. This will enable them to pay their present benefits to their members during the waiting period, and continue the reduction of contributions until a full scheme is confirmed, dealing with their accumulated capital in accordance with Section 72; it is impossible to state in anticipation whether such a scheme will provide for a further reduction of contributions or for the payment of other benefits. The released reserves will be devoted entirely to the benefit of existing members and the control and expenditure will, subject to the scheme referred to, be in the hands of the society. The existing funds remain the absolute property of the society and its members, 181W and the operation of the Act cannot divert them or any part of them.