§ 1. Mr. Prentice
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will review the regulations dealing with appeals from local tribunals to the National Insurance Commissioner with a view to allowing an automatic right of appeal in more cases.
§ The Secretary of State for Social Services (Sir Keith Joseph)
I am not clear what cases the right hon. Gentleman has in mind. Existing legislation already provides for an automatic right of appeal from any decision of a local tribunal to the National Insurance Commissioner.
§ Mr. Prentice
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Transport and General Workers Union has recently been in correspondence with the National Insurance Commissioner about certain cases which reflect a sense of injustice on the part of its members, particularly with reference to the holding of oral hearings? Would he look at the correspondence to see whether there is any need to review the arrangements?
§ Mr. Kinnock
After the right hon. Gentleman has looked at the correspondence, will he undertake to have conversations with the Commissioner with a view to having more oral hearings, since there is a widespread feeling among appellants and trade union representatives that their cases are not getting a thorough hearing by having only written appeals?
§ Sir K. Joseph
I will hear that in mind when I read the correspondence, but I will give no undertakings.