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National Assistance

Volume 654: debated on Monday 19 February 1962

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14.

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance what proposals have been made to him by the National Assistance Board for increasing the scales of National Assistance.

Despite what the Minister has said in previous replies and despite the comparison with previous years, is it not still a fact that people on National Assistance are living at a very low level indeed, and that any rise in the cost of living is extremely serious to them? Can he now say when he expects further proposals to increase National Assistance benefits from the National Assistance Board?

Parliament placed the initiative in proposing possible changes on the National Assistance Board, and I have every confidence that it will discharge its duty.

But cannot the right hon. Gentleman tell the House whether there have been any conversations through the usual channels with the National Assistance Board? Does he wait for it to approach him? Does he prompt it, or does he have informal conversations with it? Is there anything doing? That is what we want to know.

I have nothing to add in reply to those seven incoherent, unrelated supplementary questions.