HC Deb 17 November 1981 vol 13 cc150-1
6. Mr. Hannam

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will provide travelling expenses for those young people taking part in the youth opportunities programme.

Mr. Alison

Young people taking part in the youth opportunities programme can claim travelling expenses over £4 a week.

Mr. Hannam

Is my right hon. Friend aware that a number of local youth organisations and MSC representatives have said that youngsters faced with travelling costs of £2, £3 or £4 per week are opting out of the YOP? Will he reconsider the matter and extend the travelling costs provision to those further down the scale?

Mr. Alison

I have no evidence of youngsters opting out of the YOP because of travelling costs. We have the opposite evidence of huge numbers wanting to join the programme. I shall study my hon. Friend's point. He knows that it is possible for the MSC to help people, especially from rural areas, with travel by means of minibuses.

Mr. James Hamilton

As well as taking note of the point about travelling expenses, will the Minister take cognisance of the MSC's recommendation that the £23.50 should be increased to £28? Is he aware that in Bothwell many youngsters are being exploited? The sooner an investigation is carried out, the better it will be for all concerned.

Mr. Alison

I note the hon. Gentleman's point. The main question relates to travelling expenses. If the hon. Gentleman wishes to table a question about the YOP allowance, I shall seek to answer it.

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