HC Deb 23 August 1945 vol 413 cc811-2W
Mr. Longden

asked the Minister of National Insurance whether he is aware of the anxiety that is prevalent among old age pensioners on account of their present precarious position, and of the time that must elapse before a Government Bill could be implemented; and if he can make a public announcement concerning the Government's attitude towards a monetary measure and the means test.

Mr. J. Griffiths

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply which I gave yesterday to my hon. Friend the Member for King's Norton (Mr. Blackburn).

Sub-Lieutenant Austin

asked the Minister of National Insurance what would be the cost of raising the basic rate of old age pensions from 10s. to 30s. per week; and what would be the saving in supplementary payments as a consequence.

Mr. J. Griffiths

Assuming that the means scale for non-contributory old age pensions remained unaltered, and that widows over 60 in receipt of contributory widows' pensions are included, the additional cost at the present time of paying old age pensions to the classes of persons now eligible for pensions at the basic rate of 30s. a week would, it is estimated, be about £210,000,000 a year, and would rise rapidly with the growth in the aged population. The consequential savings in supplementary pensions are estimated to be about £60,000,000 a year.

Mr. Goronwy Roberts

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he will give the number of persons who quali- fied for non-contributory old age pensions, and the number of applications for such pensions that were rejected, in each of the past 10 years.

Mr. Glenvil Hall

The figures asked for are set out below:

Non-contributory old age pensions.
Year ended 31st March. Number of applicants who qualified. Number of applicants rejected.
1936 55,589 10,142
1937 54,910 10,867
1938 57,221 10,509
1939 62,492 10,905
1940 55,138 9,149
1941 55,375 10,746
1942 49,084 11,872
1943 44,060 14,647
1944 40,209 14,734
1945 39,774 15,322