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National Assistance (Disregards)

Volume 721: debated on Monday 22 November 1965

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16.

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance what progress she has made in reviewing the disregards for National Assistance recipients.

5.

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance if she will take steps to raise the limit of £600 in cash and securities which is the maximum amount a recipient of National Assistance may at the moment hold.

The National Assistance disregards, including the treatment of capital and the capital limit of £600, are among the matters being examined as part of the Government's review of the social services.

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply, but as the last increase was made in September, 1959, may I ask whether this matter will be considered with some urgency?

Will the hon. Gentleman go a little further? The House does not know how long the review will take, and the value of money has fallen substantially since 1959. Will he undertake to ask his right hon. Friend to do something earlier about disregards?

No, Sir. As the right hon. Gentleman knows, the review in- volves a very complicated and thorough study, and it will take some time. We have said that on many occasions. But the right hon. Gentleman will be aware that when the excess over £600 is small, and would clearly be used up in a short space of time, the applicant for assistance is advised to reapply later, and if need be a National Assistance Board officer will visit him.