§ 30. Mr. SNOWDEN
asked the President of the Local Government Board if he is aware that old age pensioners are being informed that the acceptance of additional assistance during the War will proportionately reduce their old age pensions; that this applies to soldiers' separation allowances and amounts allocated by soldiers from their wages to their aged parents, and any special allowance made in war bonuses, or from war relief funds to old age pensioners; and will he, in view of the reduced purchasing power of the old age pension in recent years, and especially during the War, give instructions that such small extras as those mentioned shall be ignored in estimating the amount of the pension?
§ The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. McKenna)
My right hon. Friend has asked me to answer this question. It is not the practice to issue instructions or circulars to old age pensioners, and no such instructions as are indicated in the question have been issued to the pension officers. With regard to the measures taken or to be taken in these cases, I cannot usefully add anything to the reply given on Tuesday last, by my right hon. Friend the Financial Secretary to the Treasury to the hon. and learned 1324 Member for York, except that separation allowances are included in the classes of temporary increases of means to which he then referred.
§ Mr. BUTCHER
Have instructions been given that the separation allowance is to be deducted? If so, when were they given?
§ Mr. RAFFAN
Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether these facts are communicated to the pensions committee. Will he give instructions that the separation allowance is not to be deducted?
§ Mr. BUTCHER
Has the right hon. Gentleman's attention been called to the fact that, owing to some temporary voluntary allowance having been made to these pensioners in certain cases, the amount of their old age pensions has been diminished? Will he issue instructions to the pension officers to prevent such an abuse?
§ Mr. McKENNA
I think, if the hon. Gentleman will look at the answer given by my right hon. Friend on Tuesday last, he will see all the points which he is now raising fully answered.