Belgium (Social Security Agreement)

Oral Answers to Questions — Pensions and National Insurance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 1st August 1966.

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Photo of Hon. Nicholas Ridley Hon. Nicholas Ridley , Cirencester and Tewkesbury 12:00 am, 1st August 1966

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance if she will seek to re-negotiate the social security agreement between Belgium and the United Kingdom so that contributors to the social security funds of one country are entitled to draw benefits in the other.

Photo of Miss Peggy Herbison Miss Peggy Herbison , Lanarkshire North

The existing agreement provides that, subject to certain conditions, benefit may be drawn in one country by virtue of contributions paid in the other. I have no proposals at present for negotiations with Belgium for a new agreement.

Photo of Hon. Nicholas Ridley Hon. Nicholas Ridley , Cirencester and Tewkesbury

Is the right hon. Lady aware of the case which I sent to her Parliamentary Secretary in which a constituent of mine, who had lived for many years in Belgium, paying contributions, was denied unemployment pay when she came to this country? Does she not think that this lady has been defrauded? Will she think again about this most important matter?

Photo of Miss Peggy Herbison Miss Peggy Herbison , Lanarkshire North

I know of the case which the hon. Member has in mind. He knows from the correspondence that this case is at present sub judice. He is also aware that the reciprocal agreement is such that before a person either in Belgium or in this country may have unemployment benefit, that person must have worked and had at least one class one contribution.