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War Pensioners (Comforts Allowance)

Volume 531: debated on Monday 26 July 1954

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asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance if he will take immediate steps, by a more generous interpretation of the comforts allowance, to compensate war pensioners of the 1914–18 war for disability and lack of mobility aggravated as a result of increasing age.

I am satisfied that the provisions laid down in the Royal Warrant for the award of this allowance are interpreted generously. If the hon. Member has in mind any individual case I shall be happy to look into it if he will send me particulars.

Does the Minister realise that I suggest this only as one of the reasons of dealing with this problem of the ageing war pensioners? Has he any alternative suggestions for securing that objective?

I know that the hon. Member was Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry when this comforts allowance was first introduced. I should like to pay my tribute to the useful purpose which it has served; but I think we shall have to look for other and better ways of helping the larger number of pensioners whose cases I am considering, as I indicated in the debate on Wednesday of last week.