asked the Minister of National Insurance to state the considerations taken into account by the National Assistance Board in fixing the present rates of supplementary assistance.
I would refer my hon. Friend to the statement made by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary on 16th June last when submitting these regulations for the approval of the House. As my hon. Friend will remember, the rates were welcomed as a considerable improvement on the rates previously in force.
Is my right hon. Friend aware that there is a considerable amount of dissatisfaction with the index, which many people feel is not a true measure of the actual cost of living?
Of course, the Board are not strictly tied down to the index, though the index is one of the important factors they have to take into account.
Is the Minister aware that while the allowances may be better than they used to be, they are still far from what they ought to be in view of the value of the pound and prices at the present time?