§ Captain BULLOCK
asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether his Department has received any representations against the present practice of refusing old age pensions to persons whose children voluntarily give them an allowance, on the ground that such voluntary support must be taken as part of the parents' income: whether his Department has instructed the local commit tees to treat such allowances as part of income; and whether no old age pensioner can receive her pension if her son is making her a weekly allowance for her 797W maintenance in a nursing home in order that she need not go into a public institution?
§ Mr. McNEILL
Representations have been received from my hon. and gallant Friend and others; with regard to the application in individual cases of the practice in question. The matter is, however, not one of Departmental instructions but of the law. Section 2 (1) (d) of the Old Age Pensions Act, 1911, requires that in calculating the means of a person for the purpose of the grant of a pension under the Old Age Pensions Acts, 1908–24, account shall be taken of the yearly value of any benefit or privilege enjoyed by the person. Any voluntary allowance given by children, whether paid for maintenance in a nursing home or not, must therefore- be regarded as "means," and where the allowance is of such an amount as to bring the total means above the permissible limit, there is no provision under which an old age pension could be granted.