HC Deb 14 November 1928 vol 222 cc877-9

asked the Minister of Labour if he has taken any samples or other steps to ascertain the number of applicants who have failed to satisfy the 30-stamp qualification but have secured benefit under the transitional conditions of the Unemployment Insurance Act of last year; and if he can give some estimate of that number?


I regret that reliable statistics giving the information desired by the hon. Member are not available.


Is it not the ease that these figures will be required in order that the Bill which is to be introduced may be understood?


I have already attempted to make an inquiry. The reason why it is impossible to have any reliable statistics at this moment is that there was a period of six months under the Act itself which was allowed in order to change the kind of machinery and records needed for the working of the apparatus of the new Act. That period lasted until October, and it was impossible from the complication of it to anticipate results until we had experienced the working under the new machinery.


Will the information which the right hon. Gentleman has be placed at the disposal of this House to-morrow?


I have no results which would be of any value with regard to the discussion to-morrow or I would gladly give the information to the House. What I am doing is to make inquiries with a view to keeping a close watch on the circumstances and the effects of the new conditions.


asked the Minister of Labour the total number of insured persons who have failed to qualify for benefit under the Act of 1927 owing to their failure to secure the necessary number of stamps during the transitional period?


At present the rule requiring the payment of 30 contributions during the previous two years as a condition for the receipt of unemployment benefit applies only to juveniles under 18. During the period 19th April to 8th October, 1928, 2,882 juvenile claims failed to satisfy this requirement. In addition, the claims of 1,487 persons over 18 were disallowed on the ground that they had paid less than eight contributions during the previous two years or 30 contributions at any time.

37. Mr. E. BROWN

asked the Minister of Labour the number of insured persons who have been refused benefit at the Leith (Quality Street) Employment Exchange since the operation of the Act of 1927 to the latest date; and if any analysis has been made of the number of those who will be unable to comply with the conditions of 30 stamps in two years at the Leith, Edinburgh, and Scottish Exchanges, respectively?


During the period 19th April, 1928, to 8th October, 1,177 claims to benefit made at the Leith Employment Exchange have been disallowed by the insurance officer; in a proportion of these cases the decision has been reversed on appeal. Reliable statistics are not available regarding the number of claimants who will be unable to fulfil the condition for benefit which requires the payment of not less than 30 contributions during the previous two years, when that condition comes into operation.


Will the right hon. Gentleman definitely select a certain number of representative Employment Exchanges during the next two months in order to make inquiries of that kind, seeing that there is a great deal of uneasiness in all these areas?


I understand that there is some uneasiness. I tried to get a sample before, but because of the difficulties I could not get Lay-thing really reliable. I am keeping a watch upon it, and I propose to have a further inquiry made, probably by sample, but that I cannot say until I have looked into it, so as to make quite sure whether under the new record I can get something of a really reliable character.