HC Deb 11 April 1918 vol 104 cc1670-2W

asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether it is the practice to reduce the allowance in respect of a soldier's child when it reaches the age of fourteen years; if so, whether he is aware that in many cases the parents are desirous of the child remaining at school and completing its education, but the reduction of the allowance makes it still more difficult to do this; and whether the possibility of raising the age at which the allowance is reduced will be considered?


The reply to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. As regards the second, local war pensions committees have recently been empowered to issue a supplementary separation allowance for a child over the age of 14, who is suffering from mental or physical infirmity; or is a whole-time pupil or student at an elementary or other school; or is an apprentice receiving not more, than a nominal wage.


asked die Pensions Minister (1) whether a man whose pre-war earnings amounted to 35s. per week, who has a wife and two- children to support and who was receiving treatment in hospital, would receive 27s. 6d. (less 7s. cost of keep in hospital) plus 13s. 9d. for his wife and 9s. 2d, for children, equal to £2 3s. 5d., whereas if he was discharged from hospital and directed to complete his treatment at home the allowance would be reduced to £1 6s. 8d. for the maintenance of both husband, wife, and two children; will he say what is the reason for reducing an allowance when the burden is increased by the addition of the maintenance of the sick man, especially at a time when the prices of commodities are so high and the rationing system renders the difficulties of living so much greater; has he considered that under the scale a single man is in a better position than the married man; and will he remedy this inequality; and (2) whether he has received from the county of Middlesex War Pensions Committee a resolution pointing out the hardship involved by withholding an allowance to the wife of a man who is undergoing treatment in his own home, and urging the Ministry of Pensions to so amend the instructions and notes on treatment and training so as to allow the payment of 13s. 9d. per week to the wife of a man undergoing treatment or training; and, if so, whether he will give effect to the resolution and afford the relief asked for, or what is the reason for differentiating these cases from those in which the married man who is undergoing treatment in an institution to the prejudice of the former?


the facts are correctly stated by the hon. Member, except that in the instance given the amount payable to the man under treatment at home would be £l 16s. 8d., not £l 6s. 8d. The inequality to which he draws attention is due to the very generous dealing with the man in hospital instituted largely with a view to inducing him to go there for treatment. The man under treatment at home is not ungenerously treated by being placed financially on the same footing as the man whose total disablement is incurable. With regard to the hon. Member's other point, I fear it would not be possible to remove the financial inequality between the married and the single pensioner without a reduction of the latter's pension, which I am not prepared to consider.