The relationship between the Ministry and the National Assistance Board is precisely what we do not know. Will the Minister nevertheless agree that at least most of the items mentioned in the Question are regarded as much more essential by old people than by most other sections of the community? In view of the fact that the Budget placed heavier burdens proportionately on these people than on any other section of the community, will not the right hon. Gentleman have informal consultations with the National Assistance Board to bring this point to its attention?
Naturally, I am always in touch with the National Assistance Board about these matters. There are three Questions on the alleged rise in the cost of living caused by the Budget which will be reached a little later, and perhaps the hon. Member will raise the point then.
The hon. Member is going rather beyond his Question, which asked what guidance I had given. I have suggested that I have not given guidance and that this is a matter for the Board.