M.P. TALKS TO Y.C'S. ABOUT PENSIONS
Finchley Young Conservatives were addressed by Mrs. Margaret Thatcher, M.P. for Finchley and Friern Barnet, on Wednesday last week. Mrs. Thatcher spoke of the work of her department, the Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance, mentioning that over £155 million a year is paid out in sickness benefit. Twenty-nine million working days were lost last year through bronchitis alone, and a further 27 million from mental illnesses, compared with three million due to strikes, for which no unemployment benefit is paid.
Strikers could claim National Assistance for wives and children, but the number who actually claimed this benefit amounted to only one per cent.
The state pension scheme, said Mrs. Thatcher, at present provided benefits for widows and retired people, of whom there was one to every four members of the working population. This figure had risen from the ratio of one to six in 1946.
During the question time which followed her talk, Mrs. Thatcher also dealt with the pay pause, prospects for the Common Market, exports, railways, and the smoking question.
Mrs. Thatcher was thanked by Miss Valerie Grumbar, vice-chairman, who presided.