§ 20. Mr. O'GRADY
asked whether the 2s. 6d. Capitation Grant in respect to the increased cost of medical benefit above the 6s. assumed by the actuaries when drafting the scheme under Part I. of the National Insurance Act is only to be given insured persons whose societies elect to provide medical treatment as one of the benefits; and whether, in view of the fact that there are a number of aged members of friendly societies who, by reason of ill-health, cannot become insured persons but who are included in Section 15 (2) (e) of the Act and are now without medical benefit owing to the increased cost; and, having regard to the hardship thus inflicted, will steps be taken to grant the 2s. 6d. in the case of these persons conditional upon their societies making provision for their adequate medical treatment?
§ Mr. WEDGWOOD BENN
I am afraid I can add nothing to the answers already given to similar questions by my right hon. Friend the Secretary to the Treasury. The money voted by Parliament for a Grant of 2s. 6d. per head in respect of insured persons is not available in respect of uninsured persons.
§ Mr. O'GRADY
Will the hon. Gentleman remind his right hon. Friend that these persons are aged members of friendly societies, that the total cost the first year would be £16,000, and that at the end of the fifth year the liability would fade away?
§ Mr. W. BENN
I am aware of those facts, but the difference is between insured and uninsured persons. These persons are not compulsorily insured.
Will the hon. Gentleman take some steps to carry out the intention of the House of Commons at the time of the passing of the Act that the uninsured old and incapable members of friendly societies shall receive equally good treatment as those who come in compulsorily?
Will the hon. Gentleman try and induce his 33 right hon. Friend to do something in the matter, or else give the House of Commons an opportunity of discussing it?