§ Mr. W. THORNE
asked the Minister of Health if he is aware that a Southsea builder was recently found guilty on 20 summonses for failing to pay health insurance contributions on behalf of 165 employés and whether the employés will be penalised in any way for the employer's neglect?
§ Sir K. WOOD
In the ease to which the hon. Member refers the employer was convicted for failing to pay health insurance contributions in respect of ten employés, and has paid the contributions due for those employés as ordered by the Court. As the employer had executed a deed of arrangement, the contributions due for the other employés have been claimed by my Department as a preferential debt under the provisions relating to insolvent employers. Any arrears arising by reason of the employer's default will not involve any reduction or suspension of the employés' health insurance benefits until next year, and before that time it is hoped to obtain payment and so to avoid any loss of benefit.