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Insurance And Social Security Schemes

Volume 395: debated on Wednesday 1 December 1943

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what preliminary investigations have been made relative to unemployment and insurance schemes in the West Indies; and what are the particular schemes to be introduced into the respective Colonies?

The Government of Trinidad have appointed a Committee to consider the possibility of introducing some form of contributory unemployment insurance and the prospects of establishing a health insurance scheme. In all the other West Indian Colonies the possibility of introducing some form of unemployment insurance has been discussed recently in general terms but no definite action has yet been taken. In Jamaica a Committee has been appointed to consider what schemes of social security can be adopted, and in British Guiana approval has recently been given to the introduction of legislation for establishing a scheme for old age pensions. In Trinidad and Barbados old age pension legislation is already in force.

Is the right hon. Gentleman satisfied with the speed of considering these various schemes? Can he do anything to stimulate the whole matter?

There is a live interest in the Colony, but these matters, as we have been reading, are extremely difficult and even outside the West Indies they do not often move very fast.