HC Deb 18 November 1937 vol 329 cc589-90W
Mr. Davidson

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he has considered the unanimous resolution of the conference of Scottish local authorities, held in Glasgow on 23rd October, requesting the Government to increase old age pensions to an amount which would obviate the necessity of application being made to the public assistance committees for supplementary aid because of the inadequacy of the present pensions; and what action is contemplated by the Government to give effect to this request, in view of the heavy cost to the ratepayers of having to provide supplementary allowances to pensioners and others in receipt of State grants?

Lieut.-Colonel Colville

I have not received the resolution referred to in the question but I am aware of the position as regards the supplementation of old age pensions by means of public assistance. As regards the question of increasing rates of pension I would refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for West Leeds (Mr. V. Adams) on 28th October, of which I am sending him a copy.

Viscountess Astor

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he will consider amending the non-contributory Old Age Pensions Acts so that disability pensions should be disregarded in the calculation of means under them, as they are under the Unemployment Act of 1936 as administered by the Unemployment Assistance Board?

Lieut.-Colonel Colville

I regret that the Government cannot see their way to promote the legislation which would be necessary to give effect to the change suggested.