§ Mr. Mason
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will explain the basis upon which miners dismissed during and after the recent strike are subject to a deduction of £16 per week from their social security benefits; what information he has as to the number of claimants affected in this way; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Newton
A person who loses employment because of a stoppage of work which is due to a trade dispute at his place of employment is disqualified for receiving unemployment benefit unless he can show that he is not participating in or directly interested in the dispute, and the disqualification continues until the stoppage ends, unless he earlier becomes bona-fide employed elsewhere. Any supplementary benefit paid in respect of his dependants is subject to the deduction of a specified amount, currently £16 a week. When the stoppage of work ends is a question which has to be decided on the facts and in accordance with caselaw by the independent adjudicating authorities.
Information about the number of dismissed miners affected in this way is not available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.