HC Deb 10 February 1938 vol 331 cc1228-9
19. Mr. Maxton

asked the Minister of Labour the circumstances under which Mr. Edward Cunningham, 88, Claythorne Street, Glasgow, was refused standard benefit for his five dependent children by a court of referees in Bridgeton; and under what statutory authority a means test is applied to a fully insured person?

Mr. Brown

I am making inquiries, and I will write to the hon. Member.

18. Mr. Sexton

asked the Minister of Labour whether a person with general industrial unemployment stamps and agricultural stamps to his credit may have them totalled to enable him to receive unemployment benefit?

Mr. E. Brown

No, Sir, but such a person may draw consecutively the maximum amount of benefit to which he is entitled under each qualification taken separately.

Mr. Sexton

Is the Minister aware that a man may have 29 stamps in one section and 29 stamps in another, and where 30 is the qualifying number he is yet denied benefit?

Mr. Brown

It would not be 29 and 29, but 19 in one case and 29 in the other. This really was the most difficult point we had to consider in connection with the Bill when it was in Committee, but the Committee and the House came to the conclusion that this was the best way in which to solve the difficulty.

Mr. Lunn

Are we to understand that if a man gets 27 stamps and half a dozen agricultural stamps he can get unemployment benefit?

Mr. Brown

I did not say that. I was correcting the two figures. The hon. Member gave 29 and 29, whereas it is 19 and 29.

Mr. George Griffiths

Is it not a fact that a man can get 48 stamps and cannot be in benefit; he can get 29 stamps in one section and 19 in another and yet cannot get benefit? Is not that so?

Mr. Brown

That applies wherever it is difficult to draw the line in any scheme.

Mr. Sexton

What is the right hon. Gentleman prepared to do in this matter?

Mr. Brown

I am prepared to see that a man gets precisely the sum to which he is entitled under each section, and that he draws the full amount.

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