HC Deb 15 June 1920 vol 130 cc1098-9W

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if the amount of the securities held by the Commissioners for the Reduction of the National Debt on account of the unemployment insurance fund is over £20,000,000; whether that value is calculated on the face value of its securities, on the purchase value, or the present market value; and under what Vote any loss that might be sustained by realising these funds would be charged?

Mr. BALDWIN: From the particulars given in reply to the hon. Member for South Hackney (Mr. Bottomley) on the 18th May last, it will be seen that the investments on behalf of the Unemployment Insurance Fund are mainly in securities repayable at short date at par or at a premium. The contingency referred to in the last part of the question is therefore not likely to arise. Profits and losses on realisations accrue to the fund.


asked the President of the Board of Trade whether the Government have considered the possibility of using any of the Unemployment Insurance Fund over £20,000,000 for the purpose of giving, finding or creating work for some or all of the ex-service men now unemployed?


The Unemployment Fund, which is derived from contributions paid by employers, employed and the State in accordance with the National Insurance (Unemployment) Acts, 1911 to 1919, cannot be applied to purposes other than those defined by those Acts. Due consideration was given last year to the size of the accumulated fund, and as a result the National Insurance (Unemployment) Act, 1919, raised the rate of benefit from 7s. to 11s. per week without increasing the rates of contributions. There is not now any available surplus, as may be seen from the Report of the Government Actuary on the National Insurance (Unemployment) Bill of last Session (Command Paper439).