§ 68. Sir W. BRASS
asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that the Sheffield City Council consider the regulations relating to transitional benefit so unsatisfactory that they have temporarily suspended the working of the means test in that city; and whether he will consider issuing more specific instructions than those contained in Form L.A. 3 for the guidance of public assistance committees?
A deputation from the Sheffield City Council was received last week, and I trust that as a result there will be no interruption of the administration of the transitional payments scheme.
My right hon. Friend has said, I think, that we do not consider that we have power to issue instructions under the terms of the Order-in-Council.
§ Sir W. BRASS
Surely, if the right hon. Gentleman had power to issue L.A. 3, he has also power to issue some more regulations. May I have a reply?
§ 69. Sir W. BRASS
asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that some of the unemployed who have been the first to pass through the means test have had their benefits reduced while others, owing to the number of cases to be dealt with, are drawing the larger sums not yet having had the test applied; and whether he will consider issuing instructions that all these reductions shall come into operation on the same day in the future when all the cases have been dealt with?
Owing to the large number of cases arising initially, it is not possible to deal with them all simultaneously. The suggestion made in the second part of the question is, I am afraid, not practicable; it would mean that a large number of the assessments would he out of date before they were acted upon.
§ Sir W. BRASS
Does not the hon. Gentleman realise the unfairness of the way in which it is being worked at the present time? The 10 per cent. reduction is made all at once, and the present system makes it very unfair for the people who get the reduced benefits. Cannot I have a reply, Mr. Speaker?