HC Deb 03 December 1946 vol 431 cc56-7W
121. Mr. Turton

asked the Minister of National Insurance whether he is aware that Mr. E. P. Hooper, 17, Lime Tree Avenue, New Earswick, who has been in receipt of an old age pension since 12th July, 1946, has not yet received his new pension book and that repeated applications by Mr. Hooper to his Department have not even been acknowledged; and if, in view of the fact that Mr. Hooper, who is a disabled ex-Serviceman, is being embarrassed by the delay, he will take early action on this application.

Mr. J. Griffiths

A new pension book at the increased rate was not issued to Mr. Hooper as the records of my Department did not show that he had retired from regular employment. A letter of inquiry from him was sent under the new arrangements to the Assistance Board on 17th November so that he could be seen and the facts of his case established. If these inquiries confirm that he has retired a new book for the higher rate of pension will be issued to him without delay.

123. Colonel Stoddart-Scott

asked the Minister of National Insurance what authority he has for withdrawing a contributory pension and issuing a non-contributory pension to Mrs. Wilson, 4, Grove Terrace, Old Pool Bank, Pool-in-Wharfedale; and why she was never consulted prior to such a change.

Mr. J. Griffiths

I wrote to the hon. and gallant Member fully about this matter on 27th November. Mrs. Wilson was until 4th October last in receipt of both a contributory pension of 10s. a week as a widow and a non-contributory pension of 10s. a week as a blind person, the latter granted on the basis of her means. As from 4th October by Section 74, subsection (3), of the National Insurance Act, 1946, she ceased to be entitled to receive the two pensions concurrently but became entitled to a non-contributory pension of 26s. The non-contributory pension was accordingly increased to 26s. and my Department then suspended the contributory pension of 10s. and did not consult Mrs. Wilson before doing so as it was assumed that she would not wish to have the whole of her non-contributory pension cancelled in favour of a smaller amount by way of contributory pension. It has since been learnt that she wishes in any event to draw her contributory pension and arrangements have been made accordingly. As this may involve a substantial reduction in her weekly income I shall be prepared to revert to the previous arrangement if after further consideration she wishes this to be done.

124. Mr. Osborne

asked the Minister of National Insurance if he is aware that the pension book, No. 11418168, due to Mrs. Tillotson, Sea Hills, Theddlethorpe, Lincolnshire, has not been renewed and no pension has been drawn since 1st October; that three letters to the Blackpool office have produced nothing but printed acknowledgements; and if he will take immediate steps to see that this old age pensioner is not caused further hardship through delays in his Department.

Mr. J. Griffiths

I am having inquiries made and will write to the hon. Member as soon as possible.