HC Deb 11 July 1955 vol 543 cc135-7W
59 and 60. Mr. Willis

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance (1) why the issue of clothing grants by the National Assistance Board is being discontinued;

(2) what recommendations he has received from the National Assistance Board that the scales be increased, in view of the fact that persons in receipt of National Assistance are now expected to meet the cost of their clothing without additional grants.

Mr. Peake

The Board has never discontinued the exercise of its power to make grants for clothing over and above the normal weekly allowance in cases of exceptional need. The circumstances in which these grants may be made were fully explained in the Board's Annual Report for 1949 (Cmd. 8030, pages 14–15).

62. Mr. Blenkinsop

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance the total sum paid by the National Assistance Board to cover charges for dental treatment and the provision of dentures in each of the years 1953 and 1954 and in the first quarter of 1955.

Mr. Peake

The approximate sums are: for 1953 £236,000; for 1954 £234,000; and for the first quarter of 1955, £56,000.

Lieut.-Colonel Bromley-Davenport

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance in what circumstances advances made to members of the public from National Assistance funds are required to be refunded; and to what extent such regulations apply to strikers who have received funds from National Assistance for their families during the period of a strike.

Mr. Marples

The powers of the National Assistance Board to require a person to refund assistance granted to him are limited to those provided by the National Assistance Act, 1948, and relate mainly to grants made in case of urgent need to persons in full-time work and grants made in error where there has been misrepresentation or non-disclosure of material facts. The Board is not empowered to recover Assistance granted in the circumstances described in the last part of my hon. and gallant Friend's Question.