§ Mr. BAKER
asked the Minister of Pensions whether, in those cases where aged poor parents and other dependants of deceased ex-service men appeal against the reduction of pensions due to alleged errors in the original assessment, he will issue instructions that the appeals shall be heard by the area war pensions committees; and that the Ministry of Pensions will accept the decisions of the committees as to the amount of pension that should be issued?
I am sending my hon. Friend a copy of a circular which has been issued to war pensions committees explaining how complaints of this nature are dealt with, and I am circulating in the OFFICIAL REPORT a short statement indicating the essential features of the procedure.
Following is the statement:
"Where it is proposed to reduce a current pre-War denpendence pension, on review, the parent will be notified of the reasons for the reduction and informed that unless reasons why the reduction should not be made are received within 14 days, the reduced award will be put into payment. If representations are made, these will be considered and, if accepted, the proposed reduction will be 1356W waived or modified; if the representations are not accepted, the reduction will take effect, but in these cases it will still be open to the parent to make a formal complaint to the war pensions committee. Where this is done, the war pensions committee will hear the complaint and will make a recommendation thereon to the Ministry. If the committee support the complaint and the Ministry agree, effect will be given to the revised assessment of pension from the date of the original reduction; if the Ministry, after consideration of the case at headquarters do not agree with the committee's recommendation, the reduction or cancellation of pension will stand. The procedure for making complaint through the war pensions committee indicated in the latter part of the preceding paragraph will apply not only to new cases, but also to any complaints received against reductions already effected."