§ Mr. Meacher
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he has any plans to reduce and end the war pensions welfare service and the homecraft service.
§ Miss Widdecombe
There is absolutely no question of withdrawing the war pensioners' welfare service and we shall certainly not agree to anything that would damage the interests of war widows and war pensioners. The report of a routine management review of the war pensioners welfare service last year suggested no changes in the number of chief welfare officers and welfare officers, but recommended some reductions in the number of support staff and the withdrawal of the homecraft service. No decisions have been taken on these recommendations. The central advisory committee on war pensioners is being consulted about them and has agreed that a joint working party on which war pensioners' interests will be represented, should be set up to review the aims and future of the homecraft service. There will be further consultation with the central advisory committee about the welfare service later this year.