HC Deb 10 July 1935 vol 304 cc327-8

asked the Minister of Labour what contributions from women and girl contributors, respectively, would be necessary to provide the present rates of benefit for these contributors; and what rates of benefit the present contributions of women and girls would yield if the contributions of women and girls were pooled separately from those of men and boys?

Lieut.-Colonel MUIRHEAD

Separate accounts are not kept of the income and expenditure of the Unemployment Fund in respect of the various classes of contributors, but it is estimated that during 1934 the contributions received and the benefit paid were approximately as follow:

Males: Contributions, £47,000,000;
Benefit, £34,500,000.
Females: Contributions, £15,000,000;
Benefit, £6,000,000.
The hon. Member will appreciate that more than a mere arithmetical calculation based on these figures would be necessary before an estimate could be made of what, if any, higher rates of benefit could be paid to either males or females. Several other factors would have to be taken into account seeing that in addition to benefit the fund as a whole bears the cost of administration, the charge for debt service and sundry grants. The present rates of contributions for the classes as a whole were necessary to finance the provisions of the Unemployment Insurance Act, 1934, and any separate pooling of contributions and benefit in respect of women and girls would involve a general reconsideration of the finances of the whole scheme of unemployment insurance.


Owing to the unsatisfactory nature of the reply, I beg to give notice that I shall raise the subject at the first convenient opportunity.