HC Deb 08 June 1964 vol 696 c11
7. Mr. Doig

asked the Minister of Labour if he will provide sub-offices in the larger outlying housing schemes in Dundee, as bus fares cost 1s. 4d. each time an unemployed person registers and some have to register daily.

Mr. Whitelaw

I do not consider my right hon. Friend would at present be justified in opening sub-offices in any of the larger outlying housing scheme areas in Dundee. Those persons who sign the unemployed register daily are people whose normal employment is on a casual basis. For that reason all but a few already attend at a central point each day and their subsequent attendance at the employment exchange imposes no additional hardship.

Mr. Doig

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that some of these people travel well over five miles to sign on at the employment exchange? If he cannot provide a sub-office, would he be prepared to consider making a transport allowance in cases of hardship or in laying down a statutory distance, say, of five miles—because towns are growing all the time—and say that they will be paid a transport allowance if they travel beyond that?

Mr. Whitelaw

There are already specific arrangements concerning distance. Claimants for unemployment benefit are normally required to sign the employment register twice weekly if they live within four miles of the employment exchange. Those who live between four and six miles away are required to sign once a week. Those living beyond six miles are normally dealt with by post. That goes some way towards meeting the point which the hon. Member is making.