Oral Answers to Questions — Old Age Pensions.

– in the House of Commons on 11th June 1942.

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Photo of Mr Ness Edwards Mr Ness Edwards , Caerphilly

asked the Minister of Health whether the instructions issued by the Assistance Board which preclude the payment of retrospective supplementary pensions, also preclude the making of an immediate payment to meet accumulated need; and whether, in view of the delays in determining the right to old age pensions, he will request the Assistance Board to be more considerate in their interpretation of the regulations?

Photo of Mr Ernest Brown Mr Ernest Brown , Leith

The answer to the first part of the Question is "No, Sir." As regards the second part, it is the policy of the Assistance Board to interpret the regulations considerately, but if my hon. Friend has any particular case in mind I shall be glad to look into it.

Photo of Mr Ness Edwards Mr Ness Edwards , Caerphilly

Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that particularly in Wales there is very great delay in establishing the right of pensioners to pensions, and that they get their pension sometimes two or three months after it has fallen due, and that then the Assistance Board refuse, on the ground that they have received instructions, to make a retrospective award? Cannot the matter be dealt with so that an immediate payment can be made?

Photo of Mr Ernest Brown Mr Ernest Brown , Leith

If the hon. Member has any facts concerning this matter, I should be glad to receive them, but, as he knows, sometimes difficulties arise at the other end.

Photo of Mr Wilfrid Burke Mr Wilfrid Burke , Burnley

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what action he proposes to take to implement the terms of a resolution passed by the Burnley Trades Council and sent to him, calling for an increase in old age pensions from 10s. to 20s. per week without a means test, plus an increase to meet the cost of living on the same basis as that given to civil servants under Whitley Council awards?

Photo of Sir Kingsley Wood Sir Kingsley Wood , Woolwich West

I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Leigh (Mr. Tinker) on Tuesday, 3rd March.

Photo of Mr Wilfrid Burke Mr Wilfrid Burke , Burnley

Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that the constant inflow of resolutions from public bodies indicates the concern that is felt throughout the country with regard to the position of these old age pensioners, and does he not propose to do anything?

Photo of Sir Kingsley Wood Sir Kingsley Wood , Woolwich West

I understand that the matter is shortly to be discussed.

Photo of Mr Herbert Williams Mr Herbert Williams , Croydon South

Did the Burnley Trades Council give any advice as to how the money was to be raised for this charge.