Oral Answers to Questions — Family Allowances.

– in the House of Commons on 29th May 1941.

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Photo of Miss Eleanor Rathbone Miss Eleanor Rathbone , Combined English Universities

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is now able to supply an estimate of the cost of a national scheme of allowances for children under 15 years of age at 5s. weekly, allowing for savings effected by not duplicating provision for such children already made directly or through rebates on Income Tax; and, if so, whether he will cause the figures to be printed in the OFFICIAL REPORT?

Photo of Sir Kingsley Wood Sir Kingsley Wood , Woolwich West

The cost of paying an allowance of 5s. a week for every child under 15 years of age in Great Britain would be about £130,000,000 a year at the present time. I regret that I am not yet in a position to add to the latter part of the Reply which I gave to my hon. Friend on the 20th instant, except to say that I am still investigating the matter, and I will inform my hon. Friend when this is completed.

Photo of Miss Eleanor Rathbone Miss Eleanor Rathbone , Combined English Universities

Is that information likely to be available soon, as otherwise the first figure the right hon. Gentleman has given is likely to convey a very misleading impression to the public, who do not realise that the great majority of the population are already covered by some allowance? The people so covered are earning less than 4 a week and are just those who need the allowance.

Photo of Sir Kingsley Wood Sir Kingsley Wood , Woolwich West

I will endeavour to get the figures.

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Labour party have recently considered this matter in detail and have come to a conclusion about a desirable scheme?

Photo of Sir Kingsley Wood Sir Kingsley Wood , Woolwich West

Yes, but I have also to-take into account the views of other people.

Photo of Mr Herbert Williams Mr Herbert Williams , Croydon South

Is my right hon. Friend aware that some people think that people should be remunerated on the basis of their production of goods and not their production of babies?

Photo of Sir Kingsley Wood Sir Kingsley Wood , Woolwich West

Yes, Sir, there are all those considerations.