§ 3 and 4. Mr. MacDermot
asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance (1) whether he will consider amending the National Insurance (Hospital In-Patients) Regulations, 1949, to ensure that unmarried pensioners without dependants, who have earned an increment to their basic retirement pension either by working beyond retirement age or by way of graduated pension, should not be deprived of the whole of that increment when they become hospital in-patients for a period of 52 weeks;
(2) what he estimates would be the cost of allowing unmarried pensioners without dependants who are entitled to an increment to their basic retirement pension, either by reason of working beyond retirement age or by way of graduated pension, to retain 20 per cent. of that increment on becoming hospital in-patients for a period of 52 weeks.
§ Mrs. Thatcher
I think the hon. Member has somewhat misapprehended the position. During the period of 52 weeks after becoming a hospital in-patient, a recipient of National Insurance benefits who is without dependants is deprived of neither increments nor graduated pension. After 52 weeks and up to 104 weeks these parts of his benefit are included in the balance which is paid to him as a resettlement benefit on discharge. As these benefits are paid in full during the first period of 52 weeks, the Answer to the second Question is, of course, "Nil".