HC Deb 27 November 1922 vol 159 cc298-9W

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the expenditure which would be entailed by the provision of mothers' pensions in all cases where there was no male bread-winner; and whether, seeing that such pensions would very materially reduce the present cost of the Poor Law and enable, in addition, the home-training of fatherless children in preference to institutional maintenance, the Government will consider the desirability, both on account of finance and policy, of inquiring into the advantages of bringing such a pension scheme into existence?


It has been estimated generally that any practicable scheme for mothers' pensions would cost at least £50,000,000 a year. In these circumstances, the financial condition of the country would not warrant the Government in instituting an inquiry such as is proposed. I would add that of 142,015 children of husbandless women (i.e., widows, deserted and separated wives and single women) relieved on 1st January last, only 7,405 were in institutions.