Oral Answers to Questions — Naval and Military Pensions and Grants.

– in the House of Commons on 22nd October 1935.

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Photo of Sir Ian Fraser Sir Ian Fraser , St Pancras North

(by Private Notice) asked the Minister of Pensions whether he has considered the hardship caused to the families of many pensioners who lose unemployment assistance under the Unemployment Acts on entering a Ministry hospital, with the result that their families may be obliged to have recourse to rate aid; and whether he can do anything to mitigate this hardship?

Photo of Mr Robert Hudson Mr Robert Hudson , Southport

Yes, Sir. The hardship involved in some of these cases has been brought home to me in the course of my recent visits to Ministry hospitals. As hon. Members are aware, a pensioner who is in work when he enters hospital for an approved course of treatment, can be granted under the Royal Warrant an allowance, in lieu of pension, to make up his loss of income. With the approval of my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer I propose in future to apply this principle broadly to the case of men who are in receipt of benefit or assistance under the Unemployment Acts before entering hospital, but who are not eligible for the standard allowance. The administrative details have still to be worked out, but briefly it is intended to pay in these cases a supplementary grant, in addition to pension, which will, within the limits of the standard Warrant allowances, make up the man's income from these statutory sources to what it was before or would otherwise be had he not entered hospital, allowance being made for reduced family expense by reason of the patient's maintenance in hospital, and for any health benefit which he may receive in lieu of his unemployment benefit. This concession will, I am satisfied, meet the grievance hitherto felt by the disabled ex-service men in question.