HC Deb 02 March 1972 vol 832 cc718-9
2. Mr. Ralph Howell

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many persons included in the latest unemployment total do not receive unemployment pay.

The Under-Secretary of State for Employment (Mr. David Howell)

On 8th November, 1971, the latest date for which an estimate has been made, about 191,000 people registered as unemployed were estimated to be receiving neither unemployment benefit nor supplementary allowances.

Mr. Ralph Howell

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that answer. Will he please explain these extraordinary figures?

Mr. David Howell

There are various reasons why some unemployed persons show up in the figures as getting nothing. About two-thirds of them are persons whose entitlement is still being determined or has been exhausted or who do not satisfy the contribution conditions. Some married women and school leavers are in this category.

Mr. Fell

On a point of order. This is not good enough. We are all most grateful to you, Mr. Speaker, for your help in this matter. You have asked hon. Members to read out their own Questions and that is quite understandable. Now, suddenly, out of the blue, a number of Order Papers have arrived. If the firms which publish the Order Papers are unable to deliver them, will you please make inquiries about Great Yarmouth? We will give you Order Papers, print them daily and make sure they are here.

Mr. Speaker

I have noted what the hon. Member has said. I now call Mr. Kinnock for a supplementary question on Question No. 2.

Mr. Kinnock

I had difficulty in hearing the Minister because of the activities of the usherette on one side and the prima ballerina on the other. Did I hear correctly that about one in four of the unemployed are not receiving unemployment benefit? How many of them are not receiving it because they have had inadequate redundancy payment awards in lieu of notice which under the present regulations disqualifies them from receiving unemployment pay?

Mr. David Howell

The hon. Member in seeking to hear above the hubbub did not get the figure quite right. It is more like one in five—21 per cent. Of these about 37 per cent. became unemployed shortly before the day of the count of the figures, and of the remainder 41 per cent. were not receiving benefit for various reasons which in some cases included that mentioned by the hon. Member. In some cases people have no entitlement because they do not satisfy the contribution conditions and some are disallowed or disqualified from receipt of benefit at the time the count is taken.

Forward to