HC Deb 12 July 1976 vol 915 cc105-6W
Mrs. Castle

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what he estimates would be the effect on employment of a cut of £1,000 million in public expenditure, excluding transfer payments; and what would be the increased cost of unemployment benefit.

Mr. Joel Barnett

The effect on employment, and to an even greater extent on unemployment benefits, of cuts in public expenditure would depend entirely on the nature of any such cuts. Cuts on, for example, capital expenditure would have less effect than cuts in current expenditure programmes. The consequences which any changes in employment might have on payments of unemployment benefits depend on the type of employment affected, the contribution record and entitlement to earnings-related benefits of those involved and the length of time any particular person might remain on the register. It is, therefore, not possible to give a general answer to the Question.