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National Insurance (Married Women)

Volume 523: debated on Monday 1 February 1954

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10.9 p.m.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance
(Mr. R. H. Turton)

I beg to move:

That the Draft National Insurance (Married Women) Amendment Regulations, 1954, a copy of which was laid before this House on 19th January, be approved.
These Regulations are submitted in accordance with my right hon. Friend's policy of doing away with unnecessary complications in the National Insurance Scheme. At present a married woman who has fewer than 45 contributions in any Class paid or credited in a contribution year loses her right to pay contributions as a non-employed person or to count for the purposes of unemployment or sickness benefit contributions paid for employment in Class 1 or Class 2 after the end of the contribution year until she has satisfied a re-qualifying condition of 52 Class 1 or Class 2 contributions paid or credited, of which at least 26 have to be paid.

Regulation 4 abolishes this 45 test, and the remainder of the Regulations are of a minor character. They are designed, for the benefit of married women, to simplify the rules governing their position in National Insurance. They have been examined and approved of by the National Insurance Advisory Committee, which also approved the draft Regulations. If the House approves of these Regulations, it is intended to bring them into operation from the first Monday in March. For that reason, I ask the House to approve of them.

I am obliged to the Parliamentary Secretary for the explanation which he has given of the Regulations, and I share his pleasure that the 45 test, as far as married women are concerned, is now to go. We approve of the Regulations.

Question put, and agreed to.