§ Mr. RHYS DAVIES
asked the Minister of Health whether he will give statistics showing, in percentages, for each year since the National Health Insurance scheme came into operation, comparing the incidence of each of the statutory benefits, male and female separately, covering England, Scotland and Wales, respectively?
Statistics in the form asked for by the hon. Member are not available. I would remind the hon. Member that statements have been published year by year in the Annual Reports of the Ministry of Health and the Scottish Board of Health, showing for England, Wales and Scotland, respectively, during each year from the inception of the Act, the estimated number of persons entitled to benefits and the approximate amounts of the annual expenditure on the several statutory benefits. The footnotes appended to the statements referred to indicate broadly certain factors that would have to be taken into consideration in making any comparison of the incidence of benefit in the several countries, e.g., (i) disturbance of membership numbers throughout the period of the Great War, (ii) change in the normal rates of benefit at July, 1920, (iii) changes in rate varying in each country under schemes of additional benefit (a) following the First Valuation from July, 1921, and (b) following the Second Valuation from July, 1925 or July, 1926. Due weight would also have to be given to variations in age distribution of members, and the extent to which rates of benefit are affected by arrears. To make any
Occupation. 20th February, 1928. 21st February, 1927. Wholly unemployed. Temporarily stopped. Total. Wholly unemployed. Temporarily stopped. Total. Carpenters … 14,139 437 14,576 8,209 399 8,608 Bricklayers … 7,102 298 7,400 2,949 196 3,145 Masons … 2,531 234 2,765 1,911 180 2,091 Slaters … 444 24 468 275 26 301 Plasterers … 3,738 132 3,870 823 37 860 Painters … 22,440 507 22,947 23,643 536 24,179 Plumbers … 2,597 122 2,719 2,679 130 2,809 Labourers to above … 36,722 1,153 37,875 31,020 1,027 32,047 All other occupations … 25,533 840 26,373 22,064 864 22,928 Total … 115,246 3,747 118,993 93,573 3,395 96,968
useful comparison on the lines suggested by the hon. Member would involve a critical analysis of all the relevant data over a period of fifteen years, and I do not feel justified in asking the Government Actuary to undertake a task of such magnitude