Family Allowances

Oral Answers to Questions — National Insurance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 25 October 1949.

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Photo of Mr John Platts-Mills Mr John Platts-Mills , Finsbury 12:00, 25 October 1949

asked the Minister of National Insurance if he is aware that when a child is sent to an approved school, its parents, though thereby excluded from receiving any family allowance, may nevertheless be called upon to contribute to its maintenance while away from home and have to bear the cost of such maintenance while the child is on holiday and, in view of the hardship thus entailed, whether he will amend his regulations to enable such parents to receive the benefit of the family allowances scheme.

Photo of Mr James Griffiths Mr James Griffiths , Llanelly

The rule to which the hon. Member refers is laid down in the Family Allowances Act itself. The parent's contribution is fixed by the Court in relation to his means and in fixing it the Court would take note of the fact that he would not get an allowance for the child in such a case. As regards holidays, I understand that the parent's contribution is usually remitted while the child is at home.

Photo of Mr John Platts-Mills Mr John Platts-Mills , Finsbury

Will my right hon. Friend answer the part of the Question which suggests that he should alter the rule which, in these cases, obviously defeats the very purpose of the family allowances scheme? If he will not give way on this and will not allow the scheme to work for these unhappy families, will he not approach the Home Office with the object of seeing that parents who are denied family allowances do not have to contribute to the maintenance of their children?

Photo of Mr James Griffiths Mr James Griffiths , Llanelly

It is not a rule; it is a provision in the Act itself and it could not, therefore, be changed without legislation.