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National Insurance And Health Schemes (Operation)

Volume 438: debated on Monday 9 June 1947

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asked the Prime Minister when it is intended to bring the rest of the National Insurance schemes and English and Scottish National Health Service schemes into operation.

The preparatory work necessary to arrange the transition from existing schemes and agencies and to create the organisation to operate the new provisions effectively is very heavy. Considerable progress has been made with these preparations, despite great difficulties of staff and premises. The various schemes are closely linked up with each other, and with proposals for completing the break-up of the Poor Law and providing a comprehensive scheme of national assistance standing behind the insurance provisions. The Government consider that there are compelling reasons in favour of bringing all these schemes into operation on the same date. They have reached the conclusion that by giving high priority to the legislation which it is hoped to introduce next Session to complete the breakup of the Poor Law, this will be possible. On a consideration of all the factors involved, they have decided that the best date for this purpose is 5th July, 1948, which coincides with the end of the next contribution year for health, pensions and unemployment insurance.