HC Deb 14 May 1931 vol 252 cc1388-9W

asked the Minister of Health the nature of the task work now being generally insisted on by public assistance committees in the case of able-bodied men receiving outdoor relief; whether there are any public assistance committees which do not impose any such task work; and what are the specific recommendations of the Ministry as to what this task should be and for how long it should last?


As regards the first part of the question, I would refer the hon. Member generally to the special report on test work (Cmd. 3585) published in May, 1930. Since the date of that report, the new public assistance authorities, while to a large extent continuing the same types of test work, have made substantial progress in the development of the training and instructional side and reducing the amount of useless mechanical work. As regards the second part of the question, the number of authorities which do not require any form of work from any men receiving outdoor relief is 24. As regards the last part of the question, the Relief Regulation Order, 1930, provides that the work, training and instruction shall be suitable to the age, physical capacity and intelligence of the several classes of able-bodied men, and I have, by means of circulars and correspondence, laid particular stress on the importance of the training and educational side. As regards the duration of the work or training, I have made no specific recommendation.