§ Major HILLS
asked the Minister of Labour if he can give the total amount paid into the Unemployment Fund by Government, employers, and workpeople since the commencement; how much has been paid out in benefit and spent in cost of administration, and what is the amount of unclaimed benefit; what is done with sums received on sale of stamps which, in result, are not used for stamping cards; who audits the accounts of the Fund; and has any money ever been paid from it for any other purposes except unemployment?
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
From the commencement of the Unemployment Insurance scheme on 15th July, 1912, to 2nd February, 1929, the total contributions paid into the Unemployment Fund amount approximately to:
£ Employers 145,800,000 Employed Persons 131,300,000 Exchequer (including contributions from Service Departments) 104,700,000 £381,800,000
Unemployment benefit has been paid since 15th January, 1913. From that date to 2nd February, 1929, the total payments of unemployment benefit 1142W amount to £370,000,000. In addition, the cost of administration for the whole period from 15th July, 1912, to 2nd February, 1929, amounts to £46,500,000, of which such £39,200,000 was met out of the Unemployment Fund and £7,300,000 by the Exchequer. The excess of benefit and other payments from the fund over receipts has been defrayed out of advances from the Treasury. The amount of loan outstanding on 2nd February, 1929, was £33,460,000. The amount of unclaimed benefit cannot be ascertained; it is not thought, however, to be a substantial amount. All sums received from the sale of unemployment insurance stamps are paid into the Unemployment Fund. The accounts of the Unemployment Fund are, in accordance with Section 14 of the Unemployment Insurance (No. 2) Act, 1924 (amending Section 14 (2) of the Unemployment Insurance Act, 1920), examined by the Comptroller and Auditor-General, and are, together with his report, laid before Parliament. In addition to unemployment benefit and administrative expenses, the payments which have been made out of the Unemployment Fund under the authority of the various Unemployment Insurance Acts consist mainly of refunds of contributions and interest in Treasury advances to the Unemployment Fund. Payments are also made out of the Unemployment Fund (a) in respect of part of the fares of insured contribu- 1143W tors travelling to take up employment in certain cases (Section 30 of the Unemployment Insurance Act of 1920 as amended by Section 15 of the Unemployment Insurance Act, 1927) and (b) towards the expenses incurred in respect of the attendances at approved courses of instruction of persons between 16 and 18 years of age (Section 8 of the Unemployment Insurance Act, 1927).