§ Queen's Recommendation having been signified—
Motion made, and Question proposed,
That, for the purposes of any Act of the present Session to provide for retirement pension and widow's benefit under the National Insurance Act 1965 for or in respect of persons over pensionable age on 5th July, 1948, it is expedient to authorise the payment out of moneys provided by Parliament of—
§ 3.40 p.m.
§ Mr. Douglas Houghton (Sowerby)
Are we not to hear from the Minister of State on the question why the Resolution restricts the scope for amendment of the amounts of certain benefits? May we have some explanation of that?
§ The Under-Secretary of State, Department a Health and Social Security (Mr. Paul Dean)
I shall be pleased to give the right hon. Gentleman an explanation. I was only waiting to see whether or not he wanted an explanation, which is very often not called for on a Money Resolution.
However pleasant it might be to forget the fact, the Government have to discharge their responsibilities in regard to public expenditure, and this has always been recognised as a justification for drawing Money Resolutions more tightly than would otherwise be the case.
The right hon. Gentleman will be aware that there are respectable precedents for this being done. The Labour Administration adopted the practice in the Family Allowances and National Insurance Bill, 1967, which raised family allowances by 7s. a week, and again in the Family Allowances and National Insurance (No. 2) Bill, 1968, which raised family allowances by a further 3s. a week. No objection was made to the Money Resolution on either occasion.
§ Question put and agreed to.