§ 100. Mr. Ellis Smith
asked the Minister of Labour whether he has now considered the many representations made to him that benefits and allowances to the unemployed should be increased; and what action is it intended to take?
§ 104. Mr. Kirkwood
asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that the time has now arrived to increase the income of the unemployed of this country; and whether, seeing that the Government can afford to spend millions on defence, will he take steps, without delay, to give the unemployed more than a subsistence allowance?
§ Mr. E. Brown
I would remind the hon. Members that changes in the rates of unemployment benefit depend on the Annual Reports of the Unemployment Insurance Statutory Committee on the financial state of the Unemployment Fund. As regards unemployment assistance no changes are in contemplation at present.
§ Mr. E. Smith
In view of our past experience in regard to the report of the Unemployment Statutory Committee would the right hon. Gentleman take a personal interest in this question in order that some benefit may accrue?
§ Mr. Kirkwood
Arising out of the reply to question 104, does the right hon. Gentleman not consider that it is a disgrace that we should be calmly prepared to spend so much money on defence, proving that we can afford to do it, while it is always being said that we cannot afford to increase unemployment benefit? Will the right hon. Gentleman consider that?