HC Deb 03 June 1930 vol 239 cc1945-6

asked the Minister of Labour if she is aware that the average number of claims disallowed monthly on the ground of not normally insurable previous to 10th September, 1929, averaged about 1,200, and that since they were included from that date with the disqualification "not a reasonable period of insurable employment," the average figure is about 10,000; and, since the new Act has abolished the latter disqualification, can she explain why the disqualifications on the former ground have not returned to somewhere about the average figure for the period preceding 10th September, 1929?


The disallowances under the new Act were imposed by Courts of Referees, and those for the earlier period by insurance officers; in neither case, therefore, were they within the Minister's control. I may point out, however, that when the new Act came into force, there was a large number of new claims and this was likely to lead temporarily to a larger number of disallowances. I should add that as was pointed out by my right hon. Friend in her reply to my hon. Friend on 22nd May, the numbers of disallowances under these heads, taken by themselves, are not properly comparable with those for earlier periods.


Would it not appear that those who were formerly disqualified under the "not having a reasonable amount of employment in the preceding two years" condition, are now being dealt with under the "not normally insurable" condition, and that the intention of this House is being evaded; and will the Minister of Labour look into the operation of this condition?


The local courts of referees with local knowledge have power to give definite decisions, and, as long as they give their decisions in accordance with the law, my right hon. Friend can do nothing in the matter. Many of these cases are, as my right hon. Friend has said, not comparable, because in many cases people claimed who are not insurable.


Is not my hon. Friend aware that the gravest dissatisfaction exists in regard to this matter and will he have the matter looked into by his Department?


My right hon. Friend is giving the closest possible attention to the matter, and has taken into consideration the representations made on this matter.