HC Deb 22 July 1957 vol 574 cc9-10W
74. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance if he will state the principle he intends to apply in Scotland to his proposed change in the day selected for payment of retirement pensioners in Scotland; to what extent he proposes to change or increase the number of the offices in Scotland where such pensions are paid; and what steps he proposes to take to provide free transport for such pensioners to and from their homes to the offices where their pensions are paid.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

The proposed change in the retirement pension pay-day to Monday—which would not affect any existing pensioners—would apply in Scotland in the same way as elsewhere. Its purpose is to enable post offices to give a better service to pensioners and others by encouraging the encashment of more pensions on a day when there is less business. In reply to the second and third parts of the Question, this change does not in any way involve the need to provide additional facilities as suggested.

75. Mr. Kimball

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance if he will introduce legislation empowering the National Assistance Board to make a once and for all grant to old-age pensioners who own their own house towards the cost of modernisation when the sum obtainable under the Housing (Rent and Repairs)Act has been collected.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

As my hon. Friend is aware the National Assistance Board in appropriate cases can and does in assessing the needs of an owner-occupier include an allowance in respect of necessary repairs. I am, however, very doubtful whether the making of capital grants of the kind suggested would be an appropriate function of National Assistance.

77. Mr. Osborne

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance how much it would now cost per annum, everything else being equal, to raise the basic old-age pension to £3 a week.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

The cost of raising the retirement pension to £3 a week would approach £250 million a year immediately and would rise to something approaching £400 million in twenty years' time. These costs take no account of any consequential increases in other benefit rates.

79. Mr. Hunter

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance the loss in purchasing power at the latest convenient date of the £2 per week retirement pension since the last increase in 1955.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

To restore the purchasing power of the present single rate of pension to the same level as at the time it came into effect an increase of 4s. 2d. would be required.

Forward to