PENSIONS AND NATIONAL INSURANCE
39. Sir B. Janner
asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance why new cards issued to people after the rise in contributions still give the amounts to be paid under the old rate; and if he will arrange for local offices issuing new cards to amend the rates on them before doing so.
The Minister of Pensions and National Insurance (Mr. Richard Wood)
It would be uneconomic to reprint cards already printed before Parliament approved the new rates. Wherever a card is issued showing the old rates, a leaflet should accompany it showing the new ones.
If the hon. Member will tell me of any case where this has not happened, I will examine it.
Sir B. Janner
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the placing of a small [column 28]sticker on these cards would be sufficient to indicate the change? Is he aware that the present situation is causing a considerable amount of difficulty, particularly among cashiers in offices already overburdened with the difficulties created by P.A.Y.E.? Will he see that something is done to prevent this confusion, which afterwards leads to numerous inquiries and to very little result?
My information is that the issue of the leaflet has removed all doubt and, in fact, has been just as efficient in removing doubt as a stick-on stamp.
Would the right hon. Gentleman, in this instance only, consider the intelligent use of a rubber stamp?
Industrial Injuries, North Staffordshire
37 and 38. Mrs. Slater
asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance (1) in how many appeals made by him against the decisions of medical boards on industrial injuries in North Staffordshire he was successful; and whether he will give the figures for all cases when the appeal came from the injured worker in 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962 and 1963;
(2) how many appeals were made by him against the decisions of medical boards on industrial injuries benefit in North Staffordshire for the years 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, and to the end of September, 1963.
I assume that the hon. Lady has in mind my power, which is exercised in the interests both of claimants and of other contributors, to refer decisions of medical boards to the medical appeal tribunal.
Records are not kept in a form which enables this information to be given for particular counties or parts of counties, but I am circulating in the Official Report some figures relating to the Midland Region as a whole.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that it is regrettable that this information is not available in North Staffordshire, in view of the prevalence there of pneumoconiosis? Is he further [column 29-30]aware that there is, particularly among the trade unions, a very strong feeling that the number of these cases, in respect of which the Minister uses his powers, is increasing to the detriment of the injured worker?
The only reason for my referring these decisions is that there is any doubt about the correctness of the medical board's decision. I think that when the hon. Lady sees the figures she will see that a very high proportion of these references had results favourable to the claimant.
Following is the information: