§ 2.43 p.m.
THE DUKE OF DEVONSHIRE
My Lords, as the House may know, the Colliery Workers' Supplementary Scheme is an approved scheme set up in 1948, under Section 83 of the National Insurance (Industrial Injuries) Act, 1946, at the request of both sides of the coalmining industry. It provides supplementary benefits for colliery workers (and their dependants) receiving benefit under the Industrial Injuries scheme for colliery accidents or diseases. The cost of the benefits and administration is borne by a fund formed by contributions from the National Coal Board and the colliery workers. The rates of supplementary injury and disablement benefits are expressed as a proportion of the rates of those benefits under the Industrial Injuries Act and so they were—or will shortly be—automatically increased by the National Insurance Act, 1963. The rates of supplementary death benefit for the widows and women having care of the children of deceased colliery workers are not so linked and an amending Order is necessary to alter them.
This Order seeks to increase these supplementary death benefits at the same time (May 27, 1963) and by the same 421 proportion (approximately 17 per cent.) as the rate of industrial widows' pension is being increased by the National Insurance Act, 1963. The proposed figures are 41s. a week for a widow aged 40 or over with children and 12s. 3d. for a childless widow under 40. The present rates are 35s. and 10s. 6d. respectively. Increases in contributions to pay for the increased benefits are also proposed—from 5¼d. to 5½d. on each side. Certain other minor amendments are proposed and the Order consolidates the Scheme in its amended form. I beg to move that these regulations be now approved.
§ Moved, That the National Insurance (Industrial Injuries) (Colliery Workers Supplementary Scheme) Amendment and Consolidation Order, 1963 be approved.—(The Duke of Devonshire.)
THE CHAIRMAN OF COMMITTEES (LORD MERTHYR)
My Lords, since the noble Duke, the Duke of Atholl, is not able to be here to-day, I thought I would just say a few words which I think he would have liked to say, had he been present. He is a member of the Special Orders Committee which considered this Order, and he raised a point at the meeting of the Committee. It concerns the question of whether this Order is founded on precedent. The Committee were of the opinion that it was founded on precedent, but there is a small point which the Duke raised and probably would have raised had he been here to-day.
The present scheme includes a clause to the effect that investments may not be made in any securities which have not paid 5 per cent. at least for ten years. The new Order, as I understand it, removes that part of the scheme. It is true to say that the Trustee Investments Act, 1961, includes that restriction, so in that respect it differs from the new Order. My Lords, I thought it right to inform the House of this very small point, because, as I say, I felt that the noble Duke, the Duke of Atholl, would have wished to do so had he been here.
THE DUKE OF DEVONSHIRE
My Lords, I should like to confirm that the Lord Chairman is quite correct in what he has just said in elucidation of this Order.
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.