Mr. E. A. McCusker (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of National Health and Welfare):
Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for
458 HOUSE OF
Inquiries of the Ministry Hamilton West (Mrs. Fairclough) inquired yesterday as to the issue of old age security cheques prior to Christmas.
With your permission, Mr. Speaker, I shall give the answer now.
It is planned to issue these cheques a day or two before the end of the month, just as is the custom in all other months of the year. There are a number of reasons why the decision was made to stick with the usual practice to issue old age security cheques at the end of the month, even in December.
(1) To issue them at an earlier date would leave a longer than usual gap between pension payments in December and at the end of January. This would undoubtedly prove confusing to numerous pensioners and would cause considerable correspondence.
(2) Experience has shown that any marked alteration in the date of issue of cheques is followed by a wave of correspondence the next month and by great pressure of telephone calls where our offices are in principal cities, as in Toronto for example. If cheques were issued on the 20th of December, for instance, thousands of pensioners for some reason or other would expect them to be issued on the 20th of January, and so on.
Subtopic: ISSUE OF CHEQUES PRIOR TO CHRISTMAS