HC Deb 21 March 1922 vol 152 cc277-8W

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that Mr. M. G. Slingo, an ex-service man, of 17R, Peabody Avenue, S. W., who has a wife and five children under 14 years of age, works as a labourer under the Office of Works in St. James's Park at a wage of 36s. per week of five days; that if he did no work at all he would be entitled to 48s. a week, made up as follows: 15s. out-of-work pay for himself, 5s. for his wife, 5s. for his five children at 1s. per week each, 10s. from the guardians for grocery tickets, 8s. for meat tickets, and 5s. for milk and bread tickets; and whether he proposes to take any steps to bring unemployment benefit into closer relation with existing rates of wages?


The wage of 36s. is, I presume, that paid for relief work and represents 75 per cent. of the ordinary rate for five days' work. The weekly total of unemployment benefit and dependants' grants in the circumstances described would be, as stated, 25s., that is, substantially below the wage for relief work. Moreover, if the workman in question threw up his work without just cause he would thereby disqualify himself for unemployment benefit. According to the particulars given in the question, the weekly total is brought up to 48s. by allowances from the guardians. I would point out that the guardians, in allowing relief, are called upon to take into account the amount of benefit and dependants' grants being drawn.