§ Mr. Frank Field
asked the Paymaster General when circular 109/252 was issued; when it was withdrawn; and how many changes in the rules relating to claims from school leavers occurred between those two dates;
(2) if he will investigate the circumstances in which a telex was sent to local unemployment benefit offices referring to circular 109/252 which was three years old and which contained incorrect information about entitlement to benefits; and if he will make a statement.
(3) what steps he is taking to ensure that those young people who hay been discouraged from claiming supplementary benefit by staff in local unemployment benefit offices on the basis of the erroneous information contained in circular 109/252 are now encouraged to make a claim.
§ Mr. Lang
[pursuant to his reply, 23 June 1986, c. 14]: Circular 109/252 was issued on 4 February 1983 and withdrawn on 11 June 1986. There were no actual changes to the rules relating to claims from school leavers between those dates. However, following a decision on appeal to a tribunal of commissioners, revised guidance was issued to UBOs in April 1985 and February 1986; this guidance related to claims made by Easter school leavers.
A telex was issued to UBOs on 30 May 1986 as a result of queries from UBOs which were faced with large volumes of school leaver claims.
To dispel any confusion, a further telex was issued on 11 June 1986 clarifying the position for mid-summer term school leavers and cancelling circular 109/252. The telex reaffirmed the guidance previously given— that, as a general rule, people who leave school mid-way through the summer term are not entitled to supplementary benefit until the first Monday in September. UBOs have been reminded throughout that any young person wishing to make a claim should not be discouraged from doing so.