§ Mr. BRIGGS
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if, under his proposed pension scheme, a man who has recently gone off National Health contributions because of his wages reaching the maximum, will, at the age of 65, be entitled to a pension; and will the widow of such a man he entitled to a pension?
§ Mr. N. CHAMBERLAIN:
It is provided in Clause 13 of the Bill that any man who has been continuously insured under the National Health Insurance Act for 104 weeks and has paid 104 weekly contributions, but has ceased to be so insured before the inception of the new scheme, may then resume insurance as a voluntary contributor, in which case both he and his wife will be qualified for the pensions provided in the Bill, subject to the usual conditions.
§ Sir A. MOND
asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the large additions to standing charges which the changes proposed by the new Insurance Bill will inflict upon the industry of this country, already burdened by the existing contributions to national health and unemployment insurance, he will appoint a select or other Committee in order to consider the effect of all such charges on the competitive capacity of British industry in foreign markets, their effect on the wages of the workers, and the economic advantage and disadvantage of the present distribution of such burdens between the investors in industrial enterprise, the workers, and the other members of the community?
§ The PRIME MINISTER
The proposed scheme of contributory pensions was only adopted by the Government after the fullest consideration had been given to such matters as are referred to in the question. The proposals embodied in the Bill represent the result of a careful balancing of the various factors involved and now that they have been submitted1180W to the judgment of the House, I do not think that there would be any advantage in the adoption of the course suggested by the right hon. Member.