HC Deb 19 December 1952 vol 509 c294W
Sir D. Robertson

asked the Minister of National Insurance the average annual cost to the National Assistance Board, during the last three years, of maintaining wives and families who have been deserted by their husbands: and the number of such cases.

Mr. Turton

It is estimated that there are about 70.000 women receiving National Assistance who are married but live apart from their husbands. About 20,000 of these women are old age or retirement pensioners, and it would appear that in a considerable proportion of the cases the separation is of long standing, but it is not possible to give numbers or cost in respect of those wives who have been "deserted."