HC Deb 10 July 1923 vol 166 cc1195-6W

asked the Minister of Labour the total contributions under the Unemployment Insurance Acts from 1st January, 1919, down to the latest date for which there are particulars, distinguishing between the contributions of insured persons, their employers, and the State; the total amount expended during the same period on roads and other public works for the relief of unemployment, distinguishing between the amounts raised by the localities, from the Road Fund, and Treasury grants; and for the same period the total amount of credits sanctioned under the export credit scheme and the total amount of loans guaranteed under the Trade Facilities Act?


From the 1st January, 1919, to the 2nd June, 1923, the total contributions under the Unemployment Insurance Acts are

1. Employers of insured persons 42,700,000
2. Insured persons 36,700,000
Exchequer 25,800,000
In addition, the Exchequer had up to the 2nd June, 1923, made advances to the Unemployment Fund on loan at interest to a net amount of £15,690,000.

It is not yet possible to state the total amount expended on relief works of various kinds, as many of the works are still in progress and the actual amounts of grants are frequently not determined until the completion of the work.

The Ministry of Transport on road works from the winter of 1920 to date have approved schemes costing approximately £23,600,000, to which the Government and local authorities have made roughly equal contributions.

The Unemployment Grants Committee, including schemes for 60 per cent. of the wages bill and loan schemes, have approved schemes costing in all about £43,000,000. It is not possible to give the exact figures of the Government and local authorities' contributions, because some of the works are still in progress, but a provisional estimate is that £14,300,000 represents Government contribution (the greater portion spread over a period of years), and £28,700,000, local authorities' contribution.

The figures in the two preceding paragraphs do not include road works or other works put in hand by local authorities for the relief of unemployment without the assistance of Road Fund or Exchequer grants; the amount expended in this way cannot be given, but is believed to be considerable.

Schemes under the Ministry of Agriculture costing £670,000 have been approved, of which about £177,750 will be repaid by the drainage authorities or landowners concerned, the balance of £492,250, representing the net Government contributions. Similar schemes under the Scottish Board of Agriculture amount to approximately £100,000.

The Forestry Commission have spent £200,000 by direct contributions.

As regards light railways, schemes costing £325,000 have been approved towards which the Government are providing half the capital, while local authorities are also making substantial contributions.

The total amount of credit sanctioned to the 28th May, under the Export Credits Scheme, was £26,701,914. The total amount actually in use is £15,353,364.

The total amount of guarantees under the Trade Facilities Act, which the Treasury have stated their willingness to give, is £26,019,645.

Considerable work has also been accelerated on contracts for Government Departments, with a view to providing employment.