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National Assistance

Volume 640: debated on Tuesday 16 May 1961

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asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance to what extent the power of the National Assistance Board to adjust weekly allowances paid by the Board to take account of special circumstances is used to reduce the weekly allowance below the amount that would otherwise be paid; under what circumstances such reductions are made; and how many weekly allowances in payment in December 1959 were so reduced.

At December, 1959, such adjustments were being made in about 2 per cent. (37,000) cases of the 1,766,000 assistance grants then in payment. The majority were made under the provision of the Regulations which directs the Board to limit assistance by reference to normal earning capacity: among the other circumstances in which a reduction may be made are those where there is a home-saving by reason of a long stay in hospital, and where unemployment benefit is disallowed under the provisions of Section 13 (2) (a) of the National Insurance Act, 1946.

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance how many of the 1,213,000 weekly allowances in payment by the National Assistance Board in December, 1959, to men aged over 65 years and women aged over 60 years included discretionary additions; and how many of the remaining 553,000 weekly allowances in payment in December, 1959, included discretionary additions.