Income Guarantee Scheme

Oral Answers to Questions — Pensions and National Insurance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 22nd November 1965.

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Photo of Mr Willie Hamilton Mr Willie Hamilton , Fife West 12:00 am, 22nd November 1965

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance what progress has been made in the formulation of proposals for the introduction of the income guarantee scheme.

Photo of Miss Peggy Herbison Miss Peggy Herbison , Lanarkshire North

As my hon. Friend knows, the introduction of an income guarantee scheme has had to be deferred. Meanwhile, I am doing what I can to make known the improved National Assistance benefits and to emphasise that they can be drawn as of right.

Photo of Mr Willie Hamilton Mr Willie Hamilton , Fife West

Can my right hon. Friend give an assurance that the administrative problems connected with this are being pursued and that the financial problems and others connected with it are being considered so that, when the time comes to introduce it, everything will be ready and in order?

Photo of Miss Peggy Herbison Miss Peggy Herbison , Lanarkshire North

I can give that assurance to my hon. Friend.

Photo of Mr Julian Ridsdale Mr Julian Ridsdale , Harwich

Is it not a fact that the proposal for the income guarantee scheme would cost about £700 million?

Photo of Mr John Hunt Mr John Hunt , Bromley

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance what priority Her Majesty's Government now gives to the introduction of a half-pay on retirement scheme.

Photo of Miss Peggy Herbison Miss Peggy Herbison , Lanarkshire North

Work on this scheme is proceeding as part of our long-term reconstruction of social security, but priority has been given to the needs of existing beneficiaries and to the development of a scheme of earnings-related short-term benefits.

Photo of Mr John Hunt Mr John Hunt , Bromley

In the meantime, can the right hon. Lady suggest what I am to say to my constituents, many of whom are convinced that they will be dead and buried before this Labour election pledge is fulfilled?

Photo of Miss Peggy Herbison Miss Peggy Herbison , Lanarkshire North

Perhaps I can help the hon. Member. He may assure his constituents that it will not take us eight years to introduce our new pension scheme as it took his own Government to introduce the half-baked graduated pension scheme.

Photo of Mr Julian Ridsdale Mr Julian Ridsdale , Harwich

In view of the very unsatisfactory nature of the Minister's reply, not only to this Question but to Question No. 3, I give notice that I propose to raise the matter on the Adjournment.