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Invalid Dependants (Death Grants)

Volume 526: debated on Monday 12 April 1954

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asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance the approximate cost per year of making death grants payable on the deaths of invalid dependants who have paid no National Insurance contributions and in respect of whom, for reasons of age, no grant can be claimed on the insurance record of a parent.

While I appreciate that it may be difficult to get this information, may I ask whether the Minister is aware that the financial assistance for the death grants may be of particular value in cases of this kind where the funeral expenses are no lower, normally, but where there is a background of inability to earn and consequential financial hardship? Will he investigate the matter, with a view to making recommendations?

The National Insurance Act based the death grant benefit on the contributory principle. The hon. Member is suggesting that the contributory principle should be abolished. That would be contrary to the principle of the Act.

Can the Minister tell us whether the quinquennial review will take note of cases like this and of people such as widows, who are unable to get benefits at all under National Assistance?

The working of the death grants and widows' benefits will come within the quinquennial review.