§ Mr. Kilfedder
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what were the criteria which qualified citizens of the Irish Republic for United Kingdom unemployment benefit, supplementary benefit and maternity benefit before 1st January 1973; and what will be the criteria under current EEC regulations.
§ Sir K. Joseph
So far as unemployment and maternity benefit are concerned, the basic principle in the reciprocal agreement with the Irish Republic is that insurance in one country can count towards the qualifying conditions in the other, and this principle is continued by the European Economic Community social security regulations, which apply to the United Kingdom and the Irish Republic from 1st April. Certain special conditions in the reciprocal agreement limiting rates of benefit and periods of payment will cease to apply under the European Economic Community regulations, which also provide an additional limited right to unemployment benefit where an insured person after a period of unemployment in one member State goes to seek work in another member State.
The conditions governing the payment of supplementary benefit are not affected by the reciprocal agreement or the EEC regulations. The entitlement of citizens of the Irish Republic will therefore continue to be subject to the same conditions as those applying to United Kingdom citizens, except in Northern Ireland where a special residence condition applies.