§ Sir N. GRATTAN-DOYLE
asked the Minister of Health the cost of administering the Blind Persons Act, 1920, in England and Wales; the total number of registered blind persons in England and Wales on 31st March, 1931; the total number of blind persons between the ages of 50 and 70 years and the number who are in receipt of blind old-age pensions, stating the reason why the remainder are not being granted pensions; the total number of blind old-age pensioners over 70 years of age; the number of blind persons in England and Wales under the various age-groups: 0–5 years, 5–16 years, 816W 16–21 years, 21–30 years, 30–40 years, and 40–50 years; the total cost of pensions paid to persons under the Blind Persons Act, 1920; and the number of blind persons who are in receipt of Poor Law relief and the average amount paid?
§ Mr. GREENWOOD
No complete figures are available of the total cost of administering the Blind Persons Act, 1920. The total number of registered blind persons in England and Wales was 52,727 on 31st March, 1929, the latest date for which official figures are at present available. According to unofficial figures obtained from the Counties' Associations for the Blind there were 56,853 registered blind persons on 31st March, 1930. Of that number, 22,002 were between the ages of 50 and 70, and 19,048 were in receipt of blind old age pensions. The estimated number in receipt of such pensions on 31st March, 1931, was 20,300. The remainder were not in receipt of pensions, either because they had not applied for a pension or because they did not comply with the statutory conditions for a pension. The number of blind old age pensioners over the age of 70 is not known, because after attaining that age blind pensioners rank as ordinary old age pensioners, "blindness" ceasing to be a statutory condition for a pension. The following table gives the number of blind persons in England and Wales on 31st March, 1930, under the age groups mentioned, according to the unofficial figures referred to above:
Ages. Number. 0– 5 … … … … 267 5–16 … … … … 2,461 16–21 … … … … 1,637 21–50 … … … … 14,354
Separate figures are lot available for the age groups 21–30, 31–40, and 41–50. The total cost of pensions paid to persons in England and Wales under the Blind Persons Act, 1920, for the year ended 31st March, 1931, was £512,000, and the estimated cost of administration for that year was £12,500 The information asked for in the last part of the question is not available.