HC Deb 18 January 1940 vol 356 cc194-5
6. Mr. Marcus Samuel

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will consider the advisability of introducing provisions whereby all savings invested during the war in Defence Loans and War Savings Certificates will in the future not be taken into account under any means test for unemployment allowances?

Mr. E. Brown

As my hon. Friend will be aware, the existing provisions make substantial allowance for savings. The question whether savings of the two classes referred to should be accorded further allowance is receiving consideration.

Mr. Thorne

Does not the right hon. Gentleman think that at the termination of this war the workers of this country will demand the abolition of the means test?

Mr. T. Smith

Is the Minister not aware that directly a man who is now buying War Savings Certificates becomes unem- ployed that investment will be taken into account, and that the man will either have to sell at a poor rate of interest or will have to go short of benefit?

Mr. Brown

I will consider that qualification. I cannot read to the House the list of allowances, but if hon. Members desire to have their minds refreshed upon it I shall be very pleased to print it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Samuel

Does my right hon. Friend recognise that now is the moment to encourage savings?

Mr. Brown

That applies particularly to the point which is receiving consideration. The allowance now, as a matter of fact, is limited to £300.

Mr. J. Griffiths

Would it not be a fine gesture to abolish the means test now?