HC Deb 25 April 1923 vol 163 cc448-9

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that in the week ending 7th April, 1923, the Sheffield and Ecclesall guardians granted £8,216 in unemployment relief, and that in the following week, owing to the gap, this was increased to £13,077; and whether he proposes to arrange for any relief for this and other necessitous areas towards bearing this added burden?


There are no funds at my disposal out of which I can make any grants for the purpose suggested. As the hon. Member is no doubt aware, the Unemployment Insurance Act recently passed made a substantial increase in the grant of unemployment benefit and reduced the gap in benefit to a fortnight, thereby giving great assistance to the ratepayers throughout the country. I would point out further that the figures quoted by the hon. Member illustrate forcibly the extent to which during the last 2½ years the unemployment insurance scheme has assisted in bearing a burden which would otherwise have fallen upon the local ratepayers.


Is the right hon. Gentleman still of opinion that the gap of a fortnight has not meant a considerable burden on local ratepayers, as he stated in Committee, and if he has no funds will he make representations to the Government that they should assist necessitous areas out of other grants from the Treasury?


As to the first part of the answer we had the matter under full discussion when the recent Insurance Act went through the House. With regard to necessitous areas I do not think that really arises out of the question, nor should it be addressed to me.

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