HC Deb 29 September 1942 vol 383 cc687-8W
Mr. Mander

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will consider the advisability of taking steps to give an increase to the 800,000 widows on contributory pensions who have received no increase during the war?

Sir K. Wood

This matter is under review, in accordance with the undertaking given by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour on the 29th July.

Major Procter

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) whether he is aware that old age pensioners who have saved a little money and invested it with the object of adding to their relatively small income are, after the first £25, penalised to the extent of 1s. a week on each extra similar sum, whereas those pensioners who have saved nothing receive supplementary grants without any deduction whatever; and what steps he is taking to put an end to this anomaly;

(2) whether, in view of the reduction in the supplementary pension of an old age pensioner by 1s. per week for each £25 of his accumulated savings over the first sum of this size, he can state the basis on which this deduction is assessed; and what investment is possible to earn such a return?

Sir K. Wood

Existing legislation requires the Assistance Board to regard each complete £25 of capital after the first £25 as equivalent to a weekly income of 1s. The effect of this rule is that any amount less than £50 is disregarded, 1s. a week is the approximate income which would be derived by the investment by the old age pensioner of £25 in an annuity. In the Debate on 29th July my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour gave an assurance that attention would again be directed to the way in which capital resources are to be calculated, and this is being done.