Proposals which will help those in this group who are most in need having already been made in the Ministry of Social Security Bill. We shall continue to take account of their position in the course of our general review.
Is my right hon. Friend aware that a large number of women looking after dependent relatives suffer great hardship? Would she bear their situation in mind, particularly in the next 12 months?
Certainly. Mostly these are single women, many of whom have had to give up their jobs. At present there are 9,500 of these women who are receiving an allowance from the National Assistance Board. The new provisions in the Ministry of Social Security Bill will be of great assistance to those women and very often to the old people of whom they are taking care.
The hon. Lady has asked that time and time again. She does not seem to have been aware of what has been happening in the House in the last year—and it is something of which we are very proud in our Department. Again I emphasise—and I hope that it will go home this time—that we have not been waiting until the complete review has been finished. In October of this year we bring in the earnings-related benefits to help the unemployed, the sick and the widowed. On 28th November of this year we bring in the provisions of the Ministry of Social Security Bill, which will help the non-pensioners about whom the hon. Lady is concerned.