§ 35. Mr. JOWETT
asked the President of the Local Government Board, respecting the case of an applicant for an old age pension whose claim was dealt with recently by the Bradford Old Age Pensions Committee, the total income of the [applicant being 12s. 6d. per week allot- 24 ment and dependant's separation allowance from a soldier son, from which amount the pensions officer in calculating the applicant's means deducted 1s. 6d. per week for his son's unused (reserved) accommodation, thereby making it impossible for the old man to claim more than 2s. a week under the Old Age Pensions Act; whether he will instruct the pensions officer in this and other similar cases to exclude separation allowance for the purpose of calculating the means of an applicant for a new pension in like manner as he has instructed pensions officers to exclude separation allowance for the purpose of calculating the means of soldiers' dependants who were already pensioners when claims for separation allowances were made for them?
Mr. McKINNON WOOD
The hon. Member appears to be under some misapprehension in regard to the nature of the concession made to existing old age pensioners. In those cases the support given by the sailor or soldier should aleady have been taken into account in calculating the means for old age pension purposes, and, where this is the case, no action is taken for reduction or withdrawal of the pension in consequence of any increase in means due merely to the excess of the separation allowance and allotment over the value of the support as previously estimated for old age pension purposes. There is, therefore, no case, on the analogy of the treatment accorded to existing pensioners, for excluding dependant's separation allowance and allotment in calculating the means of a claimant to an old age pension.
§ 45. Mr. W. THORNE
asked the Prime Minister whether the Government have again considered the question of giving to the old age pensioners an extra payment since the deputation of the Trade Union Congress Parliamentary Committee put the case before him on Wednesday, 19th July?
§ The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Asquith)
Yes, Sir, the matter has been since considered. I am glad to say that I was able to announce to the deputation certain administrative measures taken by the Government which will, we hope, go far to mitigate the hardship which some pensioners are suffering.