asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that in certain cases young officers, temporarily serving with the Forces, who are insured under National Health Insurance, receive notification of the amount of contributions due after a long period; whether he can take steps to prevent such occurrences; and whether, in those cases which have occurred; he will ensure that reasonable periodic deductions are made and the total amount not taken off in one sum?
My right hon. Friend is aware of the difficulty referred to by my hon. Friend and has already taken steps, in consultation with the Service Departments, to ensure prompt notification to my Department of any commissioned officer's liability to be insured. As regards the last part of the Question, he hopes to complete arrangements very shortly under which any substantial arrears of contributions will be recovered in reasonable instalments.
In March, 1941, the Service Departments warned all units against failure to deal with this subject. It is quite clear however, that a few officers did not receive the information, or did not take steps to meet the contingency, and it is because of this that this scheme is being put into operation.
Is this delay not due to the fact that 1939 enrolments were not notified to the societies, and under the law they cannot give benefit unless they have had such notification?
I think the matter goes further back than that. The Service Departments again warned officers in March, but in a few cases that warning was not heeded. There are still a few 1940 and 1941 cases outstanding.
I stated in the answer that arrangements were made and have been communicated by regimental paymasters that where there are heavy arrears contributions will be paid over a period.