HC Deb 11 April 1935 vol 300 cc1308-9
2. Mr. BATEY

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that the Unemployment Assistance Board in the county of Durham have issued an instruction that where an ex-service man receives a quarterly pension one-half will be treated as income and set against the needs of the household, thereby paying no benefit for one week; and can he state what steps he proposes to take to remedy this?


I presume that the hon. Member refers to quarterly payments of Army reserve pay. The instructions given by the board for the treatment of this resource are set out in the Appendix to the White Paper of January, 1935 (Cmd. 4791). I may add, however, that under the Unemployment Assistance (Temporary Provisions) Act, the transitional payments rate will be applied if in any week it would be more favourable to the applicant. I have no power to vary either the regulations or the Temporary Provisions Act.


If the Minister has not already the power, will he consider taking power to do it? Is he not aware that this man was for 18 years on foreign service, and that his pension is preventing him from receiving unemployment pay?


I will certainly be glad to hear from the hon. Member any information he has on that or upon any other point in connection with the future of the regulations.


Is it not a fact that the single man had no pay for three weeks, that he only got 3s. for the fourth week and that he had to live on the air for three weeks? Is not that the instruction in the memorandum?

8 and 9. Mr. DENVILLE

asked the Minister of Labour (1) whether, in view of the recent announcement that all reserve men are under service of contract, he will give instructions to all authorities dealing with transitional benefit to treat reserve pay as earned income and not as a pension; and

(2) how many authorities ignore a reservist's pay, and how many take it into consideration when assessing a man's needs under transitional benefit?


Transitional benefit and transitional payments are no longer paid. If my hon. Friend's inquiry has reference to allowances granted by the Unemployment Assistance Board, the reply is that reserve pay is treated more favourably than earned income. If my hon. Friend wishes to know what practice is followed by local authorities in dealing with applications for out-door relief, his question should be addressed to the Minister of Health.