§ 30. Mr. HORE-BELISHA
asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been called to the fact that as a result of the Widows', Orphans' and Old Age Contributory Pensions Act, 1925, the qualifying period for the ordinary insured 2484 worker is only two years, whereas under the Police Act, 1921, a policeman must have five years' service, 1st September, 1918, in order that his widow may become eligible for a pension; and whether he will take steps to see that the policeman is not penalised in comparison with the civilian and have the Police Act amended accordingly?
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
I am aware that the scheme of widows' pensions provided by the Police Pensions Act, 1921, while on the whole not less favourable than the provision made by the Act passed this year is less favourable in certain details and more favourable in others The points of difference will be taken into consideration at the first suitable opportunity, but there is no possibility of legislation on the subject being introduced this Session.
§ 81. Mr. J. BAKER
asked the Minister of Health whether or not the number of applicants for widows' pensions has reached the estimate of the actuary who advised the Department; and, if not, can he say if he has any information showing that widows receiving Poor Law relief are not applying for pensions owing to a fear of losing such relief if they do so?
§ The MINISTER of HEALTH (Mr. Neville Chamberlain)
The number of applications for widows' pensions has not yet reached the estimate, but I would remind the hon. Member that claim forms have been available for less than three months. It has been suggested that certain widows may be deterred from claiming by the fear of losing Poor Law relief, but I have no specific information on the point. A circular has, however, been issued to boards of guardians with the object of removing any misapprehension which may exist on this matter.