HC Deb 15 June 1939 vol 348 cc1519-20W
Major Procter

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware of the growing anxiety amongst old age and insured pensioners concerning the inadequacy and anomalies of the present pension system; and whether he will" consider setting up a committee to inquire into the working of the various Pensions Acts?

Sir J. Simon

A committee such as my hon. and gallant Friend suggests would not, I think, serve any useful purpose.

Mr. E. Smith

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury how many requests have been received during 1938 and 1939, respectively, that old age and widows' pensions should be increased; how many times from municipal bodies; has a request been received from the Association of Municipal Corporations; and what reply has been returned?

Captain Crookshank

Letters have been received during 1938 and 1939 from many persons and bodies, including local authorities, on the subject of old age pensions. The Association of Municipal Corporations wrote to the Ministry of Health on the subject on the 22nd November last and a reasoned reply was sent by the Treasury. As this is of considerable length, I am sending the hon. Member a copy.

Mr. Messer

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he will consider revising the regulations governing the assessment of means of non-contributory old age pensioners, in view of the large number who are compelled to apply for public assistance?

Captain Crookshank

The means limits for the receipt of non-contributory old age pensions are by no means ungenerous and there can be very few, if any, non-contributory old age pensioners affected by these regulations who would be entitled to receive outdoor relief. I cannot therefore undertake to introduce amending legislation as suggested.

Mr. Messer

asked the Minister of Health how many old age pensioners are resident in the borough of Tottenham; how many are contributory; and how many have to supplement their pensions by public assistance?

Mr. Elliot

I regret that the information asked for is not available. The records of old age pensioners are not kept on a territorial basis, and the returns made to my Department of the number of persons in receipt of poor relief do not contain separate particulars for parts of an administrative county.

Mr. Dobbie

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that in many parts of the country there is considerable delay in making the initial payment of old age pensions, in some cases extending to six months after the claim has been made; and whether, having regard to the serious hardship thereby imposed on the persons concerned, he will take steps to ensure in future the prompt settlement of these claims?

Mr. Elliot

I am not aware that the position is as stated in the first part of the question, but if the hon. Member will let me have particulars of specific cases I will certainly look into the matter.

Mr. Sorensen

asked the Minister of Health whether he will state the number of men and women in the borough of Leyton in receipt of old age pensions as from 65 years and 70 years, respectively; the total weekly amount of such pensions; and the number of each category in receipt of the full 10s. pension?

Mr. Elliot

I regret that the information desired is not available as the records of old age pensioners are not kept on a territorial basis.

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