The post-war Labour Government has often been criticized for its failure to remove the means test from social security. Labour ministers, however, had no reason to anticipate the problems which were later to arise in the administration of means tested social assistance. The experience of the supplementary pension scheme during the war had indicated that there would be few problems of take-up or stigma if old people were required to claim assistance as a supplement to their pensions. Furthermore, the abolition of the household means test in 1941 was believed to have removed the cause of much of the bitterness surrounding the means test in the 1930s. A further, crucial, point is that the assistance scale was not seen as a poverty line, but was believed to provide more than a bare subsistence income. Indeed, the recent opening of the official records of the period has revealed that the 1948 scale was not based upon the subsistence diets calculated by Beveridge, and the comparisons which have often been made between the benefits rates proposed by Beveridge and those introduced in 1948 are of little value, whatever price index is used to express the Beveridge figures in 1948 prices.