Members of Parliament (Insurance)

Oral Answers to Questions — Pensions and National Insurance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 3rd May 1954.

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Photo of Mr Herbert Williams Mr Herbert Williams , Croydon East 12:00 am, 3rd May 1954

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance in what categories Ministers of the Crown and Members of Parliament, respectively, are insured under his regulations under the National Insurance Act.

Photo of Mr Osbert Peake Mr Osbert Peake , Leeds North

I am advised that both Ministers of the Crown and Members of this House fall within the class of self-employed persons as defined by Section 1 of the National Insurance Act, 1946.

Photo of Mr Herbert Williams Mr Herbert Williams , Croydon East

Would my right hon. Friend not agree that it is very discourteous to the Monarch that a person who is employed by the Monarch should be described as self-employed?

Photo of Mr Osbert Peake Mr Osbert Peake , Leeds North

The distinction is between those employed under contracts of service who are classified as Class I contributors and those others who are gainfully occupied not under a contract of service.

Photo of Sir Eric Fletcher Sir Eric Fletcher , Islington East

Would the Minister say what special steps were taken to insure Members of the present Government against the risk of personal injury?

Photo of Mr George Chetwynd Mr George Chetwynd , Stockton-on-Tees

Is it not a fact that when a Member loses his seat, he is not entitled to National Insurance but to National Assistance, and should not that be put right?

Photo of Mr Osbert Peake Mr Osbert Peake , Leeds North

Self-employed persons are not insured, in any event, against the risk of unemployment.

Photo of Sir Eric Fletcher Sir Eric Fletcher , Islington East

May I have an answer to my question?

Photo of Mr William Blyton Mr William Blyton , Houghton-le-Spring

How can it be said that a Member of the House is not gainfully employed when he takes the oath to serve for five years and has to apply for the Chiltern Hundreds before he can be dismissed?

Photo of Mr Michael Maitland Stewart Mr Michael Maitland Stewart , Fulham East

Is it not the case that the facts disclosed in answer to the Question have been public knowledge for six years, and is it not rather surprising to find the hon. Member for Croydon, East (Sir H. Williams) wasting the time of the House in asking for this information?