§ Mr. Edelman
(by Private Notice) asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance whether his attention has been drawn to the decision of the appeal tribunal in Coventry concerning unemployment benefits affecting immediately several thousand men; and whether, in view of this decision, he will in the interim allow benefit to be paid pending a further appeal.
§ The Minister of Pensions and National Insurance (Mr. John Boyd-Carpenter)
Yes, Sir. In the Lockheed case decided yesterday some 400 men are affected. Unemployment benefit will be payable to them pending the National Insurance Commissioner's decision on an appeal. In view of the conflicting decision in the 1973 Standard case, about which an appeal has been lodged by the trade union concerned, I am asking the Commissioner if he will expedite the hearing of the appeals in both these cases.
§ Mr. Edelman
While thanking the Minister for his urgent attention to the anomalous position which has arisen, may I ask whether he will confirm that should he lose the appeal retrospective benefit will be paid to the men?
§ Mr. Boyd-Carpenter
As I understand the position, it is this. In the case where benefit has been found to be payable it will, as I said in my main Answer, be paid in any event until the Commissioner hears the appeal. In the case where benefit has been refused, if the Commissioner comes to the conclusion that benefit should have been paid it will then be paid retrospectively.
§ Mr. Osborne
Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind, when he is considering this special case, that these men are working a four-day week and still drawing about £12 a week, whereas the agricultural worker—