Lieut.-Colonel V. HENDERSON
asked the Minister of Health what would be the cost to the Treasury of providing benefits similar to those given under the Widows', Orphans', and Old Age Pensions Bill on a non-contributory basis?
§ Mr. NEVILLE CHAMBERLAIN
If under a non-contributory system the pensions and other benefits provided by the Bill could be limited to the classes within the scope of National Health Insurance, the cost would be the sum of the amounts shown in columns 5 and 8 of Table VI of the Report of the Government Actuary238W upon the financial provisions of the Bill. The charge would rise from £13,000,000 in 1926–27 to £45,000,000 in 1936–37, and to nearly £60,000,000 in 1946–47. My hon. and gallant Friend will realise, however, that if the title to benefit were not derived from contributions, difficult questions would arise as to the classes to be included, and it is probable that these figures would be considerably exceeded.