HC Deb 01 July 1937 vol 325 cc2120-1
6. Mr. J. Griffiths

asked the Minister of Labour whether any instructions have recently been issued by the Unemployment Assistance Board to their officers advising them to curtail the amount of supplementary allowances being given and generally to tighten up the administration by applying the scales more rigorously?

Mr. E. Brown

I assume the hon. Member refers to the supplementary allowances, payable in certain circumstances under the Standstill Act, 1935. The board are now proceeding to make gradual and progressive adjustments in such allowances under the powers conferred in the Regulations of 1936, and in accordance with specific recommendations of local advisory committees. These recommendations have been made in the light of a memorandum addressed by the board to committees (A.C.G.7) copies of which are available in the Library of the House. I should point out that supplementary allowances are always in excess of the scale, and there is therefore no question of applying the scales more rigorously.

Mr. Griffiths

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether the advisory committees, in recommending that there should be no increases at all, are permitted to take cognisance of the increase in the cost of living since the original allowances were fixed last summer?

Mr. Brown

My advice is that they take all the facts into consideration.

Mr. Griffiths

If the local advisory committee, having regard to the increased cost of living, advise that an increase be made, will the right hon. Gentleman agree to give effect to such a recommendation?

Mr. Brown

If the hon. Member can give me the name of any particular advisory committee that is concerned and will put down a question, I will have inquiries made as to whether that has been done.

Mr. George Griffiths

Is it not the fact that in Yorkshire at the present time, when a lad receives an increase of 1½d. per day because of his age, they take it off his father if he is on public assistance?

Hon. Members


Mr. Griffiths

I say yes.

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