HC Deb 08 July 1977 vol 934 cc685-7W
Mrs. Knight

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will consider making regulations governing the practice of acupuncture.

Certain claimants are informed at the outset that they ought to be able to obtain seasonal employment within a specified time, which, for men who have moved to the area ostensibly to get work, is two weeks. They are then specially interviewed, and benefit may be withdrawn if it seems clear that no serious attempt has been made to get work.

In the South-West Region of my Department nine local offices, including Torbay, are currently authorised to operate these special arrangements.

The matter is being kept under review, and I do not consider that a special inquiry is necessary.

Mrs. Chalker

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will publish the breakdown in numbers and amounts of payments to the registered unemployed of supplementary benefit only, of unemployment benefit alone and of unemployment benefit and earnings related supplement anticipated for November 1977 and used in the Government Actuary's Report, Command Paper No. 6848.

Mr. Orme

, pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 4th July 1977, Vol. 934, c. 423, gave the following information:

The following table shows the expenditure on benefits for the unemployed in 1977–78, as estimated by the Government Actuary, on the assumptions given to him by the Government, for his Report, Command Paper No. 6848. The estimates take into account the increased rates of benefit that will become payable from November 1977.

Mr. Moyle

No. My right hon. Friend has no power to make such regulations. The Council for Professions Supplementary to Medicine could, after consultation with existing registration boards and at the instance of the acupuncturists themselves, recommend to the Privy Council that the Professions Supplementary to Medicine Act be extended to apply to acupuncture, but the registration of acupuncturists in this way would not preclude the practice of acupuncture by unregistered practitioners.