HC Deb 18 June 1974 vol 875 cc90-1W
55. Mr. Ralph Howell

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services, in view of the fact that in terms of net weekly spending power all married men, as defined in the hon. Member for Norfolk, North's Question on 15th May, earning up to £40 per week and also all single men with gross earnings of up to £30 per week can now be better off, up to £8.92 per week, out of work than when employed, what is her estimate of the figure involved; and if she will take action to remedy this situation.

Mr. O'Malley

The figures given in reply—[Vol. 873, c.464–70.]—to the hon. Member's earlier Question are not true of all married or single men, but only of those whose actual circumstances exactly match the large number of assumptions made for the purposes of the calculations. Because of the wide range of individuals' actual circumstances it is not possible to produce an estimate of the numbers whose income while unemployed might exceed their income while working. The Government will keep the situation, which arises from the combined operation of the systems of income tax and benefits, under review.