§ Colonel WESTON
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the original estimated cost to the Exchequer of Parts I. and II. of the National Insurance Act for the years July, 1911–13, and July, 1913–14, and also the actual total cost to the Exchequer as shown by the working of the Act for the same two years?
§ Mr. W. BENN
As regards Part I. of the Act, as the actuarial estimates were prepared on the basis of the liabilities accruing week by week to the Exchequer, whereas the Parliamentary Estimates provide for the amounts coming actually in course of payment by the Commissioners within the financial year ending on 31st March, it is impossible without great labour to give figures for the period July, 1912, to July, 1913, which would form a correct basis of comparison between esimate and expenditure. For the financial year, 1st April, 1913, to 31st March. 1914, however, which is the first complete financial year since the general commencement of benefits under the Act, the figures are as follows:—
The latter figure is based on the Annual Estimates (Original and Supplementary) laid before Parliament, the actual expenditure not being ascertainable until the Appropriation Accounts for the year are closed. It does not include sums of £305,000 voted for the treatment of tuberculosis (Class VIII., Vote 10) and £45,000 voted for the expenses of the Highlands and Islands Medical Service Board, which are only in a minor degree Insurance Act services. The cost of central administration (Insurance Commissions, audit, etc.) is also excluded, as no original estimate of the cost is available for purposes of comparison. As regards Part II., I assume that the hon. Member refers to the amount of the State contribution to the Unemployment Fund, together with the State payment to associations under Section 106 of the Act (in the Act as finally passed). The estimated cost for the insurance year, July, 1912, to July, 1913, may be put at £774,000, and for the insurance year, 1913–14, at £840,000. The figure for the earlier year is made up of 47W £744,000 State contribution to the Unemployment Fund, and £30,000 Grant to associations under Section 106. The figure for the latter year is made up of £760,000 State contribution to the Unemployment Fund, and £80,000 to associations under Section 106. The actual payments from the Treasury to the Unemployment Fund and to associations under Section 106, in the two years, have been as follows:—
£ Actuarial Estimate [Cd. 5983, paragraph 16] 4,050,000 Approximate expenditure 5,906,500
All the above figures are necessarily approximate, and none of them include the State payment for administrative expenses over and above the 10 per cent. which is paid for from the Unemployment Fund. The Board of Trade are not yet in a position to allocate the total expenditure on Labour Exchanges and unemployment insurance as between the two services.
July, 1912–13 … £378,000 July, 1913–14 … £650,000