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Tuesday, 16 August 1960

At existing rates of pensions and other benefits, it is estimated that expenditure on war and repatriation services in 1960-61 would be £96,243,000, an increase of £9,392,000 on expenditure in 1959-60.

However, despite the general need to limit expenditures this year, the Government has decided to make certain increases in repatriation benefits, including rates of pensions and provision of medical treatment.

The special rate war pension for totally and permanently incapacitated exservicemen will be increased by 10s. a week, bringing the total payable to a single man to £12 15s. a week.

Tn addition, war widows pension will be increased by 5s. a week,- making the rate £5 10s. a week, and the domestic allowance payable to widows with children under age sixteen and certain other classes will also be increased by 5s. a week to £3 a week.

The service pension payable to certain classes of ex-servicemen and women will be increased by 5s. a week to a maximum weekly rate of £5. Service pensioners will also receive the benefit of the new means test in the manner I shall presently describe as applicable to social service pensions.

The Government has also agreed to provide free medical treatment for disabilities not due to war service to service pensioners, including Boer War veterans, and this benefit will operate as soon as administrative arrangements can be made. I am sure that this will give great satisfaction to returned servicemen's organizations and to many members of this House who for some years have pressed for this concession.

The cost of these increased benefits is estimated to be £2,374,000 in a full year and £1,734,000 in 1960-61.

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