HC Deb 26 November 1956 vol 561 cc10-2W
64. Mr. McKay

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance how many who were receiving the National Insurance pension for the financial year ended March, 1955, had applied for National Assistance; and to what extent the number has increased for the year ended March, 1956.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

At the end of the financial year 1954–55 about 1,005,000 weekly National Assistance allowances were being paid to supplement retirement pensions. At the end of the financial year 1955–56 the number was about 899,000.

68. Mrs. Jeger

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance what provision has been made in the current estimates for rent allowances for persons receiving National Assistance.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I am afraid it is not possible to give a separate figure for this item in the provision for National Assistance.

69. Mrs. Jeger

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance the cost to the Exchequer of rent increases under the Housing Repairs and Rents Act in respect of tenants in receipt of National Assistance.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter afraid the information asked for is not available. The National Assistance Board, however, has informed me that up to 30th August, 1956, about 30,000 weekly assistance grants had been increased for varying periods by an average of about 3s. a week in consequence of increases in rent made under the Act.

70. Mr. Janner

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance whether he is aware that when a person works after pensionable age the additional pension on retirement is taken into consideration by the National Assistance Board when considering a supplementary pension, thus depriving the pensioner of the benefit of the extra years of work; if he will amend the regulations so that a pensioner, having paid Income Tax during the extra years of work, is entitled to the additional pension without it being deducted from a supplementary pension; and whether he will make a statement on the case of Mr. Deasy, of Leicester.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Supplementary assistance grants are based on need, and the Assistance Board is bound, under the National Assistance Act, 1948, to take into account the amount of a National Insurance pension as it does other income, except that which it is required by the Act to disregard, in assessing need. The amount paid in an individual case is not in any event a matter for me, but, as the hon. Member may be aware, the amount paid to the gentleman to whom he refers was fixed by the National Assistance Appeal Tribunal.

72. Mr. Hunter

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance to state the number of old-age pensioners who are receiving supplementary allowances from the National Assistance Board; and the number who receive rent allowance.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

As at 25th September, 1956, the latest date for which this information is available, about 911,000 retirement pensioners and 153,000 non-contributory old-age pensioners were receiving weekly grants of assistance. Information is not available for this date about the number of allowances to retirement or non-contributory old-age pensioners which made provision for rent or for outgoings borne by owner-occupiers, but at 2nd November, 1955, about 980,000 or about 94 per cent. of such allowances then made such provision.