§ Mr. RHYS DAVIES
asked the Minister of Health (1) if his attention has been called to the distress caused among those insured persons whose disablement benefit has recently been reduced under the provisions of the National Health Insurance Act, 1928; 1137W and, if so, will he inquire into the matter with a view, if possible, to a return to to the status quo in this connection;
(2) approximately the number of insured persons whose disablement benefit has recently been reduced consequent upon the operations of the provisions of the National Health Insurance Act, 1928?
§ Miss LAWRENCE
I will, with permission, answer these questions together. My right hon. Friend is aware that there has been same misapprehension with regard to the reduction in the standard rates of sickness and disablement benefits payable to insured persons after the lapse of a long period without the payment of any contributions. No statistics are available as to the number of persons who are subject to such reduction, but as the payment of a single contribution for any week after June, 1928, would have been sufficient to prevent the reduction, my right hon. Friend does not think that there can be many cases of the kind. The great majority of such cases would be those of persons who have paid no contributions for many years and who would, but for a special regulation which my right hon. Friend recently made, have ceased to be insured and entitled to any benefits at the end of 1929. My right hon. Friend is afraid that it would be very difficult to justify any further concession to these people at the cost of the benefit funds of approved societies.