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National Finance

Volume 387: debated on Thursday 25 March 1943

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Old Age Pensions (Earnings)

73.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that many old age pensioners, who are still capable of useful work, find that they will lose their old age pension if the money they earn brings them above the minimum qualifying income for a non-contributory old age pension; and will he amend the regulations for the period of the war so that such earnings shall be disregarded in determining claims for old age pensions?

Entitlement to an old age pension is affected by means only in the case of non-contributory pensions awarded at the age of 70 to persons without contributory rights. This matter has been carefully considered at intervals since the outbreak of war in the light of the labour supply position but the conclusion has been reached that the advantage to be gained would not be such as to justify the change.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that it is quite wrong that when people of 70 are willing to make their contribution to the war effort they should be penalised in this way, and, as a war measure, could not he give the matter further consideration?

I shall be glad to look at it again, but we have looked at it several times.

On a point of Order. Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that not one word he says is audible in this part of the House?

Post-War Currency Policy

75.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the post-war currency proposals, shortly to be published in a White Paper, are put forward for consideration as the accepted policy of His Majesty's Government?

I think the hon. Member may find it convenient to await the White Paper.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that high officials of the Bank of England are suggesting to the Press, and to foreign bankers resident here, that these proposals should be opposed?

How can that possibly arise out of this Question? My hon. Friend, before making these statements, should put the Question on the Paper.

Can the Chancellor of the Exchequer give some indication when the White Paper will be issued?

Income Tax Relief (Housekeepers And Dependent Relatives)

76.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in view of the increased cost of living and the lower level at which Income Tax takes effect, he will consider making allowances in respect of housekeepers and dependent relatives being maintained in wage-earners homes in respect of whom no Income Tax relief is given at present?

As my hon. Friend will appreciate, I cannot anticipate my Budget Statement.

Will the right hon. Gentleman at least take into consideration the additional hardship that is involved in this particular category of cases in the light of his coming Budget?