HC Deb 14 December 1939 vol 355 cc1315-7W
Mr. Davidson

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, while awaiting

Financial Year. Expenditure during year on
Old Age Pensions over age 70. Old Age Pensions between 65 and 70. Widows' and Orphans' Pensions. Total.
£ £ £ £
1929–30 34,918,000 14,731,000 10,614,000 60,263,000
1930–31 36,676,000 16,362,000 16,890,000 69,928,000
1931–32 37,828,000 17,347,000 21,087,000 76,262,000
1932–33 39,678,000 17,766,000 21,800,000 79,244,000
1933–34 40,348,000 18,287,000 22,641,000 81,276,000
1934–35 41,734,000 18,863,000 23,089,000 83,686,000
1935–36 43,116,000 19,491,000 23,858,000 86,465,000
1936–37 44,155,000 20,091,000 23,883,000 88,129,000
1937–38 45,449,000 21,129,000 24,306,000 90,884,000
1938–39* 47,850,000 21,693,000 24,547,000 94,090,000
* The figures for this year are provisional.

As regards the second part of the question, receipts into the Treasury Pensions Account exceeded payments by 23,337,000 up to 31st March, 1939.

the decision of the special committee of inquiry, he will consider making a grant to supplement old age pensions in Christmas week to those people who are at present receiving public assistance relief?

Sir J. Simon

The hon. Member will appreciate that such a proposal would require legislation.

Mr. R. Gibson

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what amounts have been paid in old age pensions during each of the years 1929 to 1938; and what were the amounts of the surplus in the various pensions funds at the end of the financial year 1938–39?

Sir J. Simon

The information asked for in the first part of the question is given in the following table which shows for each of the years from 1929–30 to 1938–39 the annual expenditure (to the nearest thousand pounds) on

  1. (i) old age pensions under the Old Age Pensions Act to persons over age 70 (including pensions drawn by virtue of past contributions and without a means limit);
  2. (ii) old age pensions under the Contributory Pensions Acts to persons aged between 65 and 70; and
  3. (iii) widows' and orphans' pensions under the Contributory Pensions Acts.

Item (iii) cannot be subdivided to show separately the amounts relating to widows aged between 65 and 70.

This sum is not surplus to the requirements of the pensions scheme but constitutes a provision towards the excess of the cost of benefits up to age 70 over the income from contributions and Exchequer grant over the next few years. There were also unexpended balances of £227,000 in the Pensions Account and Pensions (Scotland) Account. No fund or account exists in respect of pensions over age 70, the cost of which is voted annually by Parliament.

The information given above does not include the relatively minor financial transactions which had occurred up to 31st March, 1939, under the recently established scheme for Special Voluntary Contributors.

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