HC Deb 11 April 1940 vol 359 c685
16. Mr. Batey

asked the Minister of Labour the number of unemployed receiving assistance from the Unemployment Assistance Board; and the cost of administration of the Unemployment Assistance Board?

Mr. E. Brown

In the week ended 9th March, 1940, the number of persons in receipt of unemployment allowances (including payments in supplementation of unemployment benefit and under the emergency schemes for the relief of distress due to the war) was approximately 390,000. The cost of administration of the Assistance Board during the current financial year (inclusive of the cost of services rendered to and by other Departments and of the liability in respect of superannuation) is estimated at £4,950,000.

Mr. Batey

Does the Minister consider that it is worth while to spend £4,000,000 on the administration of 190,000 cases just for the sake of the means test?

Mr. Brown

I consider that it is certainly not a sound process to take a particular week only and to judge upon that.