HC Deb 19 November 1956 vol 560 cc50-1W
61. Mr. G. Thomson

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance whether he will make calculations amongst old-age pensioners to determine what increase in their weekly expenditure has been caused by rises in the prices of essential foodstuffs since the Budget.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I would remind the hon. Member that the food items in the Retail Prices Index show a fall in the cost of food since April.

69. Mr. Hunter

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance why he refused to receive a deputation from the National Federation of Old-Age Pensions Associations.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I received a deputation from this organisation on 2nd March. On 7th September, in reply to a request for a further deputation, I suggested to them that they might do as they had done in the last two years and see the Joint Parliamentary Secretary in the early autumn. This invitation was at first declined. However a deputation was received by my hon. Friend on 14th November. I was also able to be present for a large part of the time, and a useful discussion took place.

Mr. Lewis

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance whether, as the increase in the price of bread, milk and rents, and the increased National Health prescription charges will still further reduce the purchasing power of old-age pensioners, he will arrange to make the present minimum National Assistance grant payable to all old-age pensioners, in addition to their retirement pensions.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

No. National Assistance grants are and always have been payable in accordance with need, and consequently retirement pensions, like other income, has to be taken into account.