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The initiative in proposing amendments to the National Assistance (Determination of Need) Regulations is not mine but rests clearly on the National Assistance Board; but I have no evidence that the present arrangements for the refund of prescription charges are not working satisfactorily.
Is not it a fact that at present no old-age pensioner can get repayment of these prescription charges unless his or her income is on the present National Assistance level? Does not this mean that hardship is caused, and will the right hon. Gentleman at least take steps to approach the National Assistance Board to discuss the possibility of the chronic sick being included in the same category as blind persons and T.B. persons under the National Assistance Regulations?
The Assistance Board discharges its duty to persons at or about the Assistance level. The questions which the hon. Lady raises as to whether refunds should operate higher up the income scale are clearly not for me but for my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health.