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Unemployability

Volume 437: debated on Tuesday 6 May 1947

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27.

asked the Minister of Pensions if he will consider making grants of unemployability supplement an appealable issue to the Pensions Appeal Tribunal.

I do not think it would be in the interests of the pensioners themselves that the present position in which unemployability can be sympathetically reviewed from time to time on merits by my Department should be replaced by an arrangement involving a final decision by a tribunal.

But is the Minister aware that, while I appreciate the extraordinary care and sympathy with which these cases are dealt with, anomalies exist? For instance, a man living in a London suburb, having to carry out administrative work in London, cannot face the extreme difficulties of travel on some of the suburban lines, and therefore I feel this matter should be reviewed.

I do not think the case to which my hon. Friend has referred would be met by the proposal in the Question, but if he will bring that particular case to my notice I will examine it.

Are not the tribunals already overloaded with their ordinary functions, and is it not impossible for them to take on more?

It is not a question of being overloaded; it is a question of what they can do efficiently in the interests of pensioners, and I do not think a final decision by a tribunal is desirable on the question of unemployability.