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Old Age Pensions

Volume 360: debated on Thursday 9 May 1940

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asked the Minister of Health whether he will recommend to assistance boards dealing with old age pensioners under the recent Act that they allow a proportionate increase in supplementary allowance for each five-point increase in the official cost-of-living figure?

Supplementary pensions will be determined in accordance with regulations made in the manner required by the Act and I have no doubt that the Assistance Board, from whom I expect to receive draft regulations shortly, have taken all aspects of the matter into consideration.

When are those regulations likely to be issued and will they contain some provision for systematically raising supplementary allowances to old age pensioners according to any substantial increase in the cost of living?

Will the right hon. Gentleman see that they are issued as soon as possible in order that we may have an opportunity of going through them before there is a Parliamentary Debate?

I hope to lay them as soon as possible. Obviously Members will require some opportunity for considering them closely before they are debated.

They could not be issued until the draft regulations have been laid, and I think it would be injudicious to issue them till the House has had an opportunity of considering, and possibly of debating, them.

In view of the fact that these old people are daily coming and asking what they are to do, could not the right hon. Gentleman issue some statement to allay their feelings?

I will keep the point in mind. I hope to receive the draft regulations at an early date, and it would be more convenient if the whole matter could be dealt with in one issue of documents.