§ 6. Mr. Ness Edwards
asked the Minister of Labour whether he is now in a position to give an undertaking that increases of wages to meet the increased cost of living will not be taken into account in assessing the needs of households in which employed persons reside with claimants for unemployment assistance?
§ Mr. E. Brown
I cannot at present add anything to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member on 5th October, 1939.
§ Mr. Edwards
Is the Minister aware that in some of these households half the increase of wages has to be repaid to the Unemployment Assistance Board?
§ Mr. George Griffiths
Does the Minister think that increases of wages ought to be taken into account, and is he aware that I know a man in Yorkshire who has an increase of 1½d., which is deducted? It is a burning shame.
§ 13. Mr. Ness Edwards
asked the Minister of Labour by what authority, based on regulations, the Unemployment Assistance Board acts in reclaiming from soldiers wives payments made pending the receipt of Army allowance?
§ Mr. E. Brown
That is so, and I shall be most glad to give to the hon. Member further particulars. I was aware that this question was raised, and that is why I asked the Board, who have informed me that it is not their responsibility.
§ Mr. Ness Edwards
Is the Minister aware that I hold a document which shows that there is a definite demand for an increase, and that is why I put the question down?
§ 15. Mr. Leslie
asked the Minister of Labour whether he will ensure that unemployed men who have undertaken to cultivate allotments under the war-time scheme will not be penalised by suffering any reduction in unemployment allowances because of the food they are able to produce?
§ Mr. T. Smith
As an encouragement to allotment holders, would the right hon. Gentleman see that this information is put up in Employment Exchanges?
§ Mr. Thorne
If the men are able to sell their products for not more than 3s. 9d. a day, will that be taken into consideration?
§ 16. Mr. George Hall
asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that parents in receipt of an allowance under the Unemployment Assistance Board are, through the operation of the means test, having their allowances reduced when an allotment has been made on their behalf by a son or sons serving in His Majesty's forces; and will he make representations to the Unemployment Assistance Board to abolish the operation of the means test in such cases?
§ Mr. Hall
What right have the Unemployment Assistance Board to take money which is not received by a member of the household? Does the right hon. Gentleman not think it is a scandal that the Unemployment Assistance Board has given instructions to take 3s. 6d. out of an allotment of 7s. per week, of a man who is receiving only 14s.?
§ Mr. Kirkwood
Arising from the Minister's original reply, and seeing that the whole House, irrespective of party, is complaining at the moment, is it not time that the Government considered the advisability of abolishing the means test?