§ Mr. David Mitchell
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will consider ending the discouragements to unemployed ex-employees who wish to set up as self-employed but when doing so lose their normal benefits and receive only those applicable to the self-employed, in spite of having paid employed persons' contributions to the National Insurance Fund.
§ Mr. Orme
Unemployment benefit is a short-term benefit and entitlement to it has always been related to class I contributions paid in a comparatively recent period. Since, however, this period is normally the tax year which began one year and nine months before the calendar year in which the claim to benefit was made, a former employed person who became self-employed would not lose his title to unemployment benefit for some considerable time. My right hon. Friend has no proposals to put forward at the present time to alter these provisions.