asked the Minister of National Insurance why an old age pensioner has his pension reduced by 10s. a week after he has been in hospital more than 56 days.
The rates of benefit at present in payment for patients maintained without charge in hospital are in accordance with the National Insurance (Overlapping Benefits) Provisional Regulations. The appropriateness of these rates is still under consideration by the National Insurance Advisory Committee.
Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that this deduction presses very hardly on pensioners and it is very difficult for them to see why they should be dealt with in this manner when other people in better circumstances do not suffer the reduction?
I am awaiting the Committee's Report, and I will then consider the matter.
Will my right hon. Friend have a look at the category of case in which 21s. a week is deducted?
This works both ways. There are old age pensioners who for the first time in their lives under the new Act are receiving some proportion of a pension none of which they would have received before 5th July last.