HC Deb 25 March 1925 vol 182 cc418-9
29. Mr. ALBERY

asked the Minister of Labour if, taking 1922, 1923 and 1924, he will state the number of cases in which extended benefit has been refused to men between 60 and 70 on the ground that, in normal times, employment suited to their capabilities would not be likely to be available for them; and whether, in any revised scheme of insurance, the Government will take into consideration the hard plight of these aged men thus forced to have recourse to the Poor Law?


No statistics are available to show the number of men between the ages of 60 and 70 who have been refused extended benefit on the ground that employment suited to their capabilities was not likely to be available. As I explained recently, I do not think persons disqualified under this condition can properly be recipients of benefit under an Unemployment Insurance Act.

30. Mr. ALBERY

asked the Minister of Labour whether, considering that the employability of the aged is much less than that of the young, the Government will consider the desirability of legislation providing, instead of a standard rate of unemployment benefit, a sliding-scale system of payment, lower in the case of the young and higher with advancing age, with the object of mitigating the hardships resulting from frequent unemployment in the case of older workers?


The hon. Member is no doubt aware that there are already separate scales of benefit and of contribution for persons under 18 and persons of or above that age respectively. I do not think it would be practicable to have different scales for persons of various ages above the age of 18.


Does the right hon. Gentleman not think it possible to issue some instructions in the case of men who are, say, over 60 years of age to the effect that they should be dealt with in a specially lenient manner? These men regard it as a great hardship that young men of 25 should be receiving extended benefit, which has in fact become a dole—[HON. MEMBERS: "Order!"]—while they are refused?