§ Mr. Hal Miller
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what deductions are made from pensions and benefits in respect of stays in NHS hospitals; when they are made; and how they are calculated.
§ Mr. Orme
The basic position is that national insurance maintenance benefits—sickness and injury benefits, invalidity pension, retirement pension and widows' pension—are reduced after eight weeks of in-patient treatment—by one-fifth of the pension rate in the case of people with dependants and by two-fifths in the case of people without dependants. After a year in hospital, the in-patient without dependants has his benefit reduced to one-fifth of the pension rate. I am sending my hon. Friend a copy of leaflet N19, which provides further details.
§ Mr. Patrick Jenkin
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if the annual sum saved by reductions in retirement pensions on account of hospital in- 452W patiency could be transferred from the National Insurance Fund to the National Health Service.
§ Mr. Ennals
No. A transfer of money not spent in one sector to be spent in another sector would increase public expenditure.