§ 1. Mr. Graham White
asked the Minister of Labour how many cases have been dealt with under Sections 40 and 41 of the Unemployment Act, 1934?
§ The Minister of Labour (Mr. Ernest Brown)
I am informed by the Unemployment Assistance Board that statistics are not available to show how many cases have at some time been dealt with under Section 40 of the Unemployment Assistance Act, 1934. In a recent week, however, inquiry showed that 448 allowances were paid, subject to one or other of the conditions set out in that Section. No applicant has been at any time dealt with under Section 41.
§ 11. Mr. Lawson
asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that Mr. James Hall, of Grange Villa, County Durham, residing in the Consett area of the Unemployment Assistance Board, has had his allowance reduced by 1s. 6d. because his son of 16½ years has had a weekly increase of 1s. 10d.; whether that action represents the policy of the Board; and, if not, what steps he intends to take in the matter?
§ Mr. Lawson
Is the Minister aware that this boy's earnings were 18s. gross per week on the average; that he actually loses 1s. 6d. out of an increase of 1s. 10d.; and that this case represents a very large section of the administration of the Unemployment Assistance Board; and does the right hon. Gentleman agree with the policy?
§ Mr. Lawson
We shall have some opportunity of discussing these figures later when we discuss the report; but does the right hon. Gentlemtn agree with this policy of taking 1s. 6d. a week off a boy who has had an increase of 1s. 10d., and whose gross wage is 18s.?
§ Mr. Shinwell
If the facts are as stated, will the right hon. Gentleman say explicitly whether it is the policy laid down by the Board?
§ 13. Mr. A. Jenkins
asked the Minister of Labour what representations have been made to him regarding the exemption from the provisions of the unemployment assistance regulations of payments to be made to aged miners under the pension scheme now being promoted jointly by the South Wales coalowners and the South Wales Miners' Federation; and what is his decision?
§ Mr. Brown
As I stated in my reply to a question by the hon. Member on this subject, on 26th April, the representatives of the employers and workers were informed that, as persons of 65 years and over could not apply for allowances from the Board, no question arose of the Board reducing allowances payable to such men when they received the pension. Further, these pensions would be regarded as entirely for the personal requirements of the pensioners and would not be brought into account against the needs of an applicant in a household in which there was a miner in receipt of a pension.
§ Mr. Jenkins
Do we understand that to mean that they will not be taken into family calculation but will be completely disregarded?
§ Mr. Jenkins
Will the right hon. Gentleman say whether or not pensions made available under this scheme will be disregarded entirely in calculating the family income?
§ Mr. Brown
I understand from the Unemployment Assistance Board that adjustments of allowances in this area are proceeding in accordance with the recommendation of the local advisory committee, as in all other areas, but that in view of the hon. Member's question they are calling for a report. I may add that on the re-assessments in November and December, 1936, about 1,450 persons, in the Board's Doncaster area, received more than they had been receiving under the Standstill Arrangement; and on 25th June, 1937, the latest date for which figures are available, 62 persons were receiving less than they would have received under the Standstill Arrangement, otherwise than on account of the applicant's personal earnings.
§ 15. Mr. Dobbie
asked the Minister of Labour whether he will give instructions in the case of Mr. Walter Walton, of 10, Sherwood Crescent, Rotherham, as one of hardship, that special consideration should be given owing to the present housing difficulty; and whether, as the man will be provided with a house by the Rotherham Corporation in due time, he will advise the chairman of the Unemployment Assistance Board that this is a case where payment may be continued until alternative housing accommodation is provided for him, seeing that this man lives alone and is unable to obtain a smaller house, and his allowance has been reduced from 22s. 6d. to 17s. out of which he has to pay 145. 4d. per week for rent?
§ Mr. Brown
I am informed by the Unemployment Assistance Board that the special circumstances in this case have received and will continue to receive very careful consideration. Meanwhile, if the applicant is aggrieved by the determination of 17s. 6d. a week which has been made in his case, it is open to him to exercise his rights of appeal as provided by the Act.