HC Deb 12 April 1965 vol 710 cc927-8
5. Sir Richard Glyn

asked the Minister of Labour what instructions have been given to the Government Actuary as to the contribution to be payable as a qualification for reundancy benefit; and what is his definition of redundancy.

Mr. Gunter

No instructions have been given to the Government Actuary. Redundancy is defined in Clause 1(2) of the Redundancy Payments Bill which I have presented to the House.

Sir Richard Glyn

As the Government Actuary has not been instructed, may the House assume that the estimated 4d. is a piece of wild guesswork not unrelated to that which about six months ago earned the First Secretary the ironic title of "Mr. 3 per cent."? Will the right hon. Gentleman take a realistic view of this matter and of the enormous expense likely to be incurred? In order to avoid a constant upward readjustment of the stamp, will the right hon. Gentleman take steps to see that a realistic figure of perhaps 30s. is adopted for the total joint contribution to the National Insurance stamp in future?

Mr. Gunter

I should have thought that this would have been better debated on Second Reading of the Redundancy Payments Bill, but I imagine that it is obvious to the House that rates of redundancy cannot be forecast on an actuarial basis. What we have tried to do is to take account of past manpower forecasts and estimated increases in future earnings levels. The aim must be to provide income for the redundancy fund sufficient to cover outgoings for an appreciable period, but a precise estimate cannot be made in this field.