§ 64. Sir J. Lucas
asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty if he is aware that a married couple with three children and paying more than 20s. a week rent will, if unemployed, receive £9 8s. weekly, whereas a married man with two children employed on full time in Portsmouth Dockyard can get less than this figure; and if he will now take steps to ensure that the minimum rate of pay for an employed dockyard worker is not less than the comparable unemployment benefit.
§ Mr. C. Ian Orr-Ewing
The standard unemployment benefit rate for a married man with three children is £6 9s.
The minimum timework rate for adult unskilled labourers in Portsmouth Dockyard is £8 7s. l0d. plus a time working allowance of 6s. a week. There are also good opportunities for overtime and payment-by-results which in most cases increase earnings beyond the minimum figure. Negotiations are proceeding with the trades unions concerned on a claim for an increased rate.
I assume that the figure of £9 8s. to which my hon. Friend refers is taken from an example quoted in the Explanatory Memorandum on the draft National Assistance Regulations which, when approved, will operate from 24th September next. It is an amount to which a married man with three children of particular ages and a specific rent commitment of 28s. a week would normally be entitled: it includes family allowances and unemployment benefit and National Assistance payments.