HC Deb 11 April 1928 vol 162 cc1193-4
26. Mr. T. THOMSON

asked the Minister of Labour how many insured persons will be unable to draw unemployment benefit on account of the gap period on 12th April?


On 12th April, when the new 'Unemployment Insurance Act comes into operation, the only persons affected by the gap of a fortnight imposed by that Act will be those who have drawn precisely 22 weeks of benefit. since 2nd November last,. I have no material which would enable me to form anything like a proper estimate of that number, but I think it is not likely to le a large proportion of those unemployed.


Can the right hon. Gentleman give some estimate of what the number is likely to be of those people who will be thrown on the local rates?


I have endeavoured to get some estimate with a view to answering this question, and it has been impossible to get anything like a satisfactory figure. If the hon. Member will put himself in communication with me I will endeavour to explain to him the position as I understand it.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the gap arrangement in the Unemployment Insurance Acts costs the West Ham Board of Guardians £9,000 a week?

34. Mr. WEBB

asked the Minister of Labour whether, in view of the commencement on 12th April of a further period of uncovenanted unemployment benefit, he will state when he will be able to communicate to the House the conditions under which this benefit will be granted, and which he undertook very carefully to reconsider?


In accordance with my undertaking I am examining these conditions very carefully, but, as the hon. Member will appreciate, the matter is one of considerable complication and difficulty, and I am not yet in a position to make any announcement.


asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that in many eases payment of unemployment benefit is stopped without notice; that on applying in the usual way for his weekly benefit a man is informed that there is no benefit for him, and he can get no information when he may expect to receive any further benefit; and whether, in view of the hardship caused by the withdrawal of benefit without. notice, he will issue an instruction that, as far as possible, notice shall be given, so that unemployed men may be in a position to apply to the guardians for relief before their families are reduced absolutely to destitution and hunger?


The instructions already provide. that notice shall be given to the applicant of the approaching exhaustion of benefit, or of its suspension during a "gap." In certain cases, particularly when fraud is suspected, stoppage or suspension without notice is unavoidable. If the hon. Member will give me particulars of any cases in which notice was not given when it was reasonably possible to give it, I shall be glad to inquire into them.