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Old-Age Pensioners

Volume 530: debated on Monday 19 July 1954

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20.

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance what representations he has recently received from the National Federation of Old-Age Pensioners; and what reply he has sent.

A letter was received from the general secretary of the Federation on 12th July and has been acknowledged.

21.

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance the number of old-age pensioners in Wales at the latest convenient date; the number who are in receipt of National Assistance; and the number who applied in 1953 for assistance to buy clothes.

There are about 250,000 old-age pensioners in Wales, of whom about 78,000 are receiving regular weekly grants of National Assistance. Some of the grants cover the needs of a household containing more than one pensioner. I regret that the number of pensioners who applied for additional grants for clothing is not known.

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance the number of old people in Cardiff who applied for Assistance to buy clothes in each of the years 1951, 1952, 1953 and 1954 to date; and the corresponding numbers who have been refused Assistance.

The National Assistance Board regret that the specific information asked for is not available. The number of grants to meet exceptional needs. mostly for clothing and bedding, to pensioners and other applicants receiving assistance from the Board's offices in Cardiff (which cover an area extending beyond the City) were as follows: 1951, 2,100; 1952, 2,027; 1953, 1,987; 1954 (to end June) 1,317.

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance the number of appeals he has received from old-age pensioners during the past six weeks: whether he is aware that the pensioners plight is now grim; and what action he proposes to take before the Recess to meet the needs of old people.

Forty-eight letters about the rate of retirement pensions have been received from pensioners during the past six weeks. For the rest, perhaps we had better await the debate on Wednesday.