§ 58. Mr. Gibson
asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance whether, in view of the increasing difficulties of old-age pensioners in maintaining a reasonable standard of living, he will bring before the House proposals for raising the levels of pensions and National Assistance.
§ 69. Mr. H. Hynd
asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance what increases in old-age pensions, widows' pensions, service and other pensions and in the rates of National Assistance will be given to meet the increased rents and Purchase Tax.150W
§ 78. Mr. Hunter
asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance if he is prepared to increase the amount of retirement pensions in view of the increase in the cost of living.
§ Mr. Peake
I have no such proposals in mind with regard to the benefits and pensions for which I am responsible. The present rates of National Insurance Pensions still provide a higher purchasing power than any earlier rates in force at any previous time. With regard to the National Assistance scales, I cannot add to the reply given to the hon. Member for Southampton, Test (Mr. J. Howard) on 31st October; rents are allowed for separately by the National Assistance Board.
§ 77. Mr. F. Willey
asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance whether he will state the present provisions regarding the capital sums a person may possess while still qualifying for National Assistance.
§ Mr. Peake
These provisions are contained in the Second Schedule to the National Assistance Act, 1948. Their broad effect is that the value of owner-occupied property, the first £375 of war savings of an applicant, and the first £375 of war savings of any dependant are wholly disregarded; that the first £50 of other capital is also disregarded and in so far as the aggregate value of such other capital exceeds £50 but does not exceed £400 it is treated as equivalent to a weekly income of 6d. for each complete £25; and that any excess over £400 is to be regarded as available for meeting the person's needs.