HC Deb 06 February 1986 vol 91 cc236-7W
Mr. Ralph Howell

asked the Prime Minister if she will state the latest figures for the overall cost of (a) unemployment benefits, together with all other social security payments to the unemployed, (b) central Government training programmes designed to reduce unemployment, (c) central Government payments to industry designed to reduce unemployment, and (d) the combined total of such expenditure.

The Prime Minister

The overall cost of social security benefits to the unemployed in 1985–86 is estimated to be about £6,800 million.

Central Government expenditure on training programmes both for adults and for young people has as its prime objective the promotion of competitiveness through improving the skills of the work force. It is estimated to be about £1,060 million in 1985–86.

Central Government expenditure specifically directed towards reducing unemployment is incurred via the Department of Employment's employment measures. Expenditure on these is estimated to be about £1,050 million in 1985–86. Of this, about £30 million is expected to be paid to industry principally via the young workers scheme.

Given the different purposes for which this expenditure is incurred, it would be misleading to aggregate these figures.