§ Mr. Robson Brown
asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance whether, considering the special circumstances surrounding old-age and war pensioners at this time, he will authorise an ex gratia payment of £1 per head to be paid to them as near as possible to Christmas.
§ Mr. Peake
No. I think a Christmas bonus of this kind would be wholly inconsistent with the purpose underlying the Royal Warrant for War Pensions and the
— 31st December, 1952 December, 1953 31st March, 1954 (the latest available date) Consultants* Number employed whole-time 1,704 1,728 1,762 Total hours worked weekly by part-time consultants 106,000† 109,889 112,003 Senior Hospital* Medical and Dental Officers Number employed whole-time 964 1,167 1,199 Total hours worked weekly by part-time staff 17,000† 16,054 16,078 * Excludes those holding honorary contracts. † Estimates. NOTE.—The Figures for 31st March, 1954, are derived from certain limited returns made by the employing boards. A more reliable comparison with the figures for 31st December, 1953, will not be available until the annual statistics for 1954 are prepared.
National Insurance Scheme, which is to make pensioners feel that the State is making regular provision for them and that they are not merely the recipients of State charity.
asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance how many war widows now draw increased pensions on account of age; and whether he will extend this precedent to disabled ex-Service men and women at the same age.
§ Mr. Peake
I assume that my hon. Friend has in mind the provision of the Royal Warrant under which certain widows received less than the standard rate of pension until they reached the age of 40. I regret that the number of widows in this category is not known. In any event I would not regard the provision as one which would be appropriate to disability pensioners.