§ Mr. RICHARDS
asked the President of the Local Government Board whether in estimating the income of an applicant for an old age pension the value of free board and lodging is taken into consideration; whether the estimated value is based on the present cost of the necessities of life; and whether persons are deprived of their old age pensions because of the increase in the cost of living?
§ Mr. BALDWIN
In estimating the means of a claimant for old age pension purposes, the means from every source,780W including the value of any benefit of free board and lodging, must be taken into account; and the amount at which the value of any such benefit should be estimated is a matter for the determination of the local pension committee subject to the right of appeal to the Local Government Board. With regard to the last portion of the question my attention has not been drawn to any instance of the kind, but if the hon. Member is aware of any I shall be glad to have inquiry made if he will furnish me with the particulars.
§ Mr. CAIRNS
asked the President of the Local Government Board if it is the intention of the Government to introduce a Bill to amend the Old Age Pensions Acts; and, if so, will it provide for the exclusion of superannuation benefits received from friendly societies, occupation of a miner's cottage free from rent, or the giving of small allowances in money from friends or associations, from being calculated as income when a person applies for an old age pension?
§ Mr. CROOKS
asked the President of the Local Government Board (1) whether the Regulations for the administration of the Old Age Pensions Acts provide that if an applicant is receiving shelter and food from a relative, or any other person, the value of this assistance is assessed and the amount of the pension fixed accordingly; and whether it is the intention of the Regulations that a person cannot receive the full amount of pension unless he or she is absolutely destitute of home and friends;
(2) Whether it is in accordance with the Regulations made under the Old Age Pensions Acts that the interest of any sum invested by an applicant for an old age pension shall be estimated at 5 per cent., irrespective of the rate actually received; whether he is aware that applicants with small sums invested in the Post Office Savings Bank on which they receive interest at 2½ per cent. are having this interest assessed at the rate of 5 per cent.; and whether he will consider amending the Regulations to secure that the actual rate of interest received shall be taken into account; and
(3) the Lord Privy Seal, whether he can hold out any hope of the introduction of a Bill to amend the Old Age Pensions Acts or, alternatively, the appointment of a Committee to inquire into the administration of the Acts and make recommendations?781W
§ Mr. BALDWIN
I would refer the hon. Members to the reply which I gave this afternoon to the hon. Member for Falls.