§ Mr. G. LOCKER-LAMPSON
asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware of the grounds upon which the Government actuary based his opinion (Cmd. 1581, p. 157) that approved societies were not qualified to deal with certain other points arising in respect of the title to unemployment benefit; if so, whether he will state such grounds and the nature of the points referred to; whether it was the actuary's view that having issued, as suggested by him, a certificate of the contributions paid to justify receipt of benefit, the approved society was incapable of either transmitting the cash to the member or of carrying it to his home, as in the case of health insurance benefit; and what is the nature of the change in constitution which, in the actuary's view, would enable approved societies generally to dispose of all matters in regard to the title and payment of unemployment benefit, so as to expedite the abolition of the Employment Exchanges recommended by the Committee on National Economy (Cmd. 1581, p. 148)?
I have been asked to answer this question. As already announced, an Inter-Departmental Committee, with Sir Alfred Watson as chairman, has been appointed, following the recommendation of the Committee on National Expenditure, to consider the relations of Health Insurance and Unemployment Insurance, and to investigate the possibility of reducing the cost of administration. The various points arising are being fully considered, but I do not think there is any advantage at the present stage in attempting to deal with the matter within the limits of question and answer.