HC Deb 24 October 1972 vol 843 cc239-40W
Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services why Mr. Keshavial Acharya on arrival in Great Britain from Uganda with his wife and three children was given an initial £12 and a subsequent £29 by the welfare office in Artillery Place, Woolwich; and why they have been promised £28.40 per week at least until next March, in view of the low level of benefits paid to British-born unemployed persons and those on retirement pensions.

Mr. Dean

Since Mr. Acharya's personal circumstances have apparently been disclosed in the Press with his consent, I am prepared to say that I have been informed by the Supplementary Benefits Commission that the benefits he is now receiving have been assessed correctly in accordance with the relevant statutory and discretionary provisions of the supplementary benefit scheme which apply to anyone in Great Britain, regardless of their country of origin. As a supplementary pensioner, Mr. Acharya has received a book of payable orders for the weekly amount to which he is entitled until March, 1973; this is the normal procedure in regard to all supplementary pensioners.