HC Deb 13 March 1941 vol 369 cc1435-6W
Mr. Gallacher

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware of the plight in which many single women find themselves on reaching the age of 60 because, although, in many instances, they had paid health insurance for many years without receiving benefits, yet were unable to get insurable employment in the years immediately preceding their attainment of the age of 60; and whether he will introduce amending legislation enabling single women to obtain old age pensions at the age of 60 providing that their previous contributions reach a sufficient aggregate, irrespective of the years during which they were paid?

Mr. E. Brown

I am not aware that the position is as stated in the first part of the Question. The existing law makes generous provision to avoid loss of health insurance and pensions rights owing to prolonged unemployment, and no such loss can arise in the case of any person who has been insured for 10 years before becoming unemployed. I cannot consider that the circumstances are such as to call for amending legislation.

Mr. Wootton-Davies

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether, in assessing non-contributory old age pensions, he will consider waiving during the war any assessment of income from the possession by such pensioners of property which cannot be advantageously used owing to the war?

Captain Crookshank

Yes, Sir. Instructions were given some time ago that property vacated by pensioners or their tenants could be disregarded in assessing means for old age pension purposes in cases where to do so would involve hardship.