HC Deb 27 January 1969 vol 776 cc925-6
18. Mr. Hunt

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what are the latest available figures for the number of people receiving unemployment benefit.

The Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Security (Mr. Norman Pentland)

On 4th November, 1968, some 294,000 people were receiving unemployment benefit.

Mr. Hunt

How do those rather startling figures square with the Labour Party's election pledges to maintain and safeguard full employment in this country?

Mr. Pentland

The hon. Member must have misheard the figures which I gave. I said that 294,000 people were receiving unemployment benefit. The Labour Party's pledges about unemployment benefit will be fulfilled.

Lord Balniel

Is the Minister aware that a substantial number of those persons in receipt of unemployment benefit are also in receipt of termination grants paid under redundancy payments scheme? Is he satisfied that this double payment of benefit is the best use of scarce resources? Will he consider a possible link between redundancy payments and mobility and retraining?

Mr. Pentland

If the noble Lord would like us to look into that and will put down a Question about it, we will certainly look into it for him.