§ Mr. Mason
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what consultations he is having about the position of those mineworkers who are being declared redundant yet, because they have not paid their national insurance contributions for 12 months, are likely to lose unemployment benefit and entitlement from the redundant mineworkers' pension scheme; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Newton
Entitlement to unemployment benefit depends upon the claimant having paid or been credited with the necessary national insurance contributions during the relevant tax year. Those miners who were on strike for all or most of the 1984–85 tax year are, therefore, unlikely to qualify for benefit during 1986. We have no plans to change the contribution conditions in order to allow unemployment benefit to be paid in these circumstances. The Redundant Mineworkers Payments Scheme is the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Energy.