HC Deb 10 December 1931 vol 260 cc2024-5
11. Mr. CURRY

asked the Minister of Labour if, in view of the continued de- crease in unemployment since the advent of the National Government, he can give any indication as to when the Unemployment Fund will be able to bear increased benefits for the unemployed?


The factors are too uncertain to enable me to say when or whether the Unemployment Fund will be able to bear increased burdens of any kind.


Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that in the winter the needs of the unemployed are much greater, because of the necessity for fuel, extra clothing, and the like I Will the Minister consider the possibility of making an extra grant during the months of January, February and March?


That suggestion would involve legislation, and it is not the question on the Paper. I may say that the debt on the fund is still very heavy, and its income is not yet by any means up to its expenditure.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say what is the estimated figure of unemployment at which the income of the fund will balance its outgoings?


That is a question which cannot be answered definitely, because it depends upon the nature of the claims on the fund; but I can, tell my hon. and gallant Friend that it is exceeding its income at present by something like a few hundred thousands a week, whereas formerly the excess was about a million pounds a week.