HC Deb 16 April 1946 vol 421 cc2506-8
59. Mr. Asterley Jones

asked the Minister of Labour what arrangements he is proposing to make in order to give effect to the policy outlined in the White Paper on employment policy (Cmd. 6527) in regard to the payment of resettlement allowances to workers transferred to new areas under approved schemes; and whether he contemplates making any alteration in the present arrangements for the payment of grants and allowances to transferred workers.

Mr. Isaacs

I am proposing to introduce on 1st May a new scheme for assisting the resettlement of workers who, with the approval of my Department, transfer permanently to a new area. At the same time, steps will be taken to modify in the light of present conditions the present temporary scheme of grants and allowances which was framed on a wartime basis. I am also introducing immediately a special voluntary transfer scheme for assisting the transfer of certain unemployed workers to temporary employment in a new area while they are awaiting the development of new industries in their home area. I will, with permission, circulate particulars of these arrangements in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following are the particulars:

1. —Scheme of permanent resettlement

(1) This scheme is designed to assist three types of cases:

(1) The permanent transfer of key personnel for the purpose of establishing new industries or extending the scope of existing ones in development areas or other areas where it is desired to encourage the growth or diversification of industry in pursuance of the Government's employment policy;

(2) The permanent transfer of unemployed workers from areas where the prospects of employment for them are poor to areas where the prospects are good; and

(3) The permanent resettlement of workers already in employment away from home for whom there are no good prospects of employment in the home area.

These workers will be assisted to resettle either in the area where they are now employed or in another area according to the existence of regular employment for which suitable persons are not available locally.

2. The main facilities which will be available are:

(1) Free fares to the new area for the worker and his dependants;

(2) A travelling allowance for unemployed workers to meet the incidental expenses of the journey;

(3) A settling-in grant of 24s. 6d. (for both men and women);

(4) Financial assistance towards the cost of removal of household effects;

(5) A lodging allowance of 24s. 6d. per week for a period up to three months for married men (and unmarried workers with similar responsibilities) while seeking family accommodation in the new area;

Note.—Until the general housing situation improves the three months' period will be extended, if necessary.

(6) A continuing Liability allowance of up to 24s. 6d. per week in cases other than (5) for the minimum period necessary to dispose of a liability for payments in respect of the old home.

II.—Temporary continuance in modified form of wartime scheme of grants in respect of temporary transfer

This scheme will continue to operate in a modified form. The scope of the scheme will be restricted as regards future transfers to workers placed in employment away from home in a very limited field of industries or services of the highest priority. In the cases of workers already transferred away from home the facilities of the scheme will continue to be provided for those whose employment away from home is still essential in the national interest and will otherwise he withdrawn after due notice has been given to the workers concerned.

III.—New voluntary temporary transfer scheme

The scheme is supplementary to the normal arrangements for assisting workers to obtain suitable employment. It is designed to meet the needs of workers in certain places where developments are planned which will, in due course, provide new employment, but where meanwhile considerable numbers of workers cannot be placed in work locally. The aim is to alleviate this special temporary situation by enabling such workers to accept temporary transfer to work in other areas pending the development of employment in their home areas. They will be able to record their names on a special Register in their home areas so that their absence from home will not result in the loss of opportunity of local employment and they will be eligible for submission for any suitable vacancies there in the same way as if they had remained unemployed at home.

Assistance available under the scheme will include,inter alia, free fares, a settling-in grant of 24s. 6d. and, for workers with dependants, a lodging allowance of 24s. 6d. per week.