HC Deb 01 December 1932 vol 272 cc957-8

asked the Minister of Labour if, taking any staple industry of the country and the number of unemployed workers therein, he will state the percentage of normal wages which the employers would be assumed to pay if the State contributed to the wage bill the statutory amount of State assistance now given to such unemployed?

The MINISTER of LABOUR (Sir Henry Betterton)

As the answer is long, I will, with the hon. and gallant Member's permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the answer:

The available statistics do not enable me to make any exact calculation for individual industries, but it is estimated that the percentage of the total wages bill which would be paid by the employers, if the amount now paid in unemployment insurance benefit and transitional payments were contributed to the wages bill, on the assumption that all insured workers now unemployed were reabsorbed into full-time employment at present rates of wages, would vary between limits of about 80 per cent. and about 98 or 99 per cent. in different industries.