§ 39. Mr. Arnold Shaw
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether she is satisfied that the £10 special payment has been sufficiently taken up by all classes of beneficiaries; and whether the Press coverage has been wide enough.86W
§ Mr. O'Malley
Very full publicity was given to the £10 payment, by the display of posters in post offices, by Press advertisements and in editorial comment, and I am satisfied that there was virtually no failure to take up the payment. Most pensioners received it automatically and, although application was necessary for the wives of pensioners for whom no increase of pension was being paid because of earnings, there are comparatively few of these, and the advertisements made the position clear.
I shall be glad to look into any individual case of difficulty which my hon. Friend may have in mind.
§ 44. Sir J. Langford-Holt
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services, in view of the latest increase in the cost of petrol, whether she will now extend the £10 Christmas bonus to disabled drivers with vehicles supplied by her Department.
§ Mr. Alfred Morris
Payment of the £10 Christmas bonus is linked to entitlement to one of the qualifying benefits, which include invalidity pension and unemployability supplement. My right hon. Friend informed the House during the debate on the Second Reading of the Social Security Benefits Bill on 21st November—[Vol. 881, c. 1555]—that in view of the increased cost of petrol we propose to double the £5-a-year petrol allowance now paid to some drivers and to extend that allowance to all drivers of invalid vehicles and cars provided by the Department.