§ Mr. Michael Brown
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he has now reached a decision on the provision of additional assistance, for those affected by the British Steel closures, in Consett, Llanwern, Port Talbot and Scunthorpe, who move to a new area to take up work.
§ Mr. Jim Lester
I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that there are at present two schemes to encourage people who are unemployed, or under threat of redundancy, to look for and to move to jobs in other areas. These are the job search scheme and the employment transfer scheme.
From 4 August the Commission is to introduce modifications of these schemes to give special assistance to those who are moving away from areas affected by British Steel Corporation redundancies.
These modifications will be available for one year from the date of introduction to workers from British Steel Corpration plants at Consett, Llanwern, Port Talbot and Scunthorpe who receive notice of redundancy on or after 1 January 1980 and to other unemployed or redundant people who live in defined catchment areas for those plants.
The principal modifications are as follows:1. it is an eligibility condition of the Job Search Scheme and the Employment Transfer Scheme that there must be no suitable unemployed people in the new area. This condition will be waived for people under the modified schemes, unless the applicant is moving into a Special Development Area.2. The pay limit for the new job, above which assistance is not available will be 25 per cent. higher than the pay limit for the normal Job Search and Employment Transfer Schemes ie raised from £6,264 p.a. (£120 p.w.) to £7,832 p.a. (£150 p.w.).3. The payment of certain allowances (Disturbance Allowance and the higher rate of Transfer Grant) under normal Employment Transfer Scheme conditions is dependent upon the Assisted Area status of both the applicants' home area and the area of the new job. This restriction will not apply in the case of the modified scheme. In addition, workers made redundant from a British Steel Corporation plant and who are eligible for assistance under the modified Employment Transfer Scheme will be entitled to a mobility premium of £1,000. This premium will be payable in four quarterly stages of £250 subject to the applicant remaining in eligible employment in the new area and will be subject to Income Tax.