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Post-War Credits

Volume 464: debated on Tuesday 10 May 1949

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will now consider making payment of post-war credits to anyone who is medically assured is incapable of living more than a limited time, and will thus be unable to receive their credits at the age of 60 or 65.

No, Sir. The difficulties of extending special treatment in cases of hardship have frequently been explained in Debate.

Is not this a particularly heartless reply when the right hon. Gentleman is asked to consider the suggestion that these people should have a little more money before they die in order that they can have the opportunity of enjoying the few luxuries to which they are entitled?

Is the Financial Secretary aware of the very great concern widely felt at the very unsympathetic attitude of the Treasury towards cases of hardship, as evidenced by the fact that the Treasury are not prepared to find out what it would cost to make the concession?

Is it any good asking the Treasury to reconsider this question, because, although the right hon. Gentleman is right in saying that the difficulties of the position have been explained, they have not convinced us on this side of the House or the people who think they are suffering a grievance?

I cannot help that. We have discussed this many times and the prime difficulty is one of definition.

Will the right hon. Gentleman assure the House that he will not take the same steps to burke the discussion of this matter on the Finance Bill as his right hon. and learned Friend has done with the Purchase Tax?

I did not know that it was my right hon. and learned Friend. It was the House which agreed to the Resolution to which the right hon. Gentleman refers—

—and if he is criticising the House, that is another matter. I have not the slightest doubt that this question will be raised during the Debates on the Finance Bill, and if that is so an answer will be given.

Does my right hon. Friend realise what a dangerous thing it is for any doctor to say to his patient that he can only live a limited length of time?

Can my right hon. Friend give the House an estimate of what this concession might cost if it were conceded?