§ Mr. W. BAKER
asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that Mr. F. R. Knight, 8, Commercial Road, Redcliff, Bristol, is being penalised in respect of National Health Insurance benefit because of the failure of his late employer to stamp his contribution card; that the Ministry has been unable to trace the employer and has therefore decided that Mr. Knight must be responsible for his employer's contributions; that Mr. Knight is now unfit for work and not in a position to pay his employer's arrears of contribution; why Mr. Knight is held responsible for his employer's negligence; and whether he will take steps to secure that Mr. Knight is credited with the full number of employer's stamps, in order that he may secure the full sickness benefit to which he is entitled?
§ Mr. NEVILLE CHAMBERLAIN
I am aware of the case to which the hon. Member refers. Prolonged investigation has been made by inspectors of the Ministry, who have made every effort to discover the employer responsible for the outstanding contributions with a view to obtaining payment, but without success. As the contributions could not be recovered by legal proceedings or otherwise, Mr. Knight was advised that if he so desired he could stamp a card himself in order to avoid a possible reduction of benefit in consequence of the deficiency of contributions. There is no power to credit him with the contributions which his employer has failed to pay, and in the absence of those contributions his rate of benefit must be reduced in accordance with the Regulations.