§ Ms. Short
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will publish up-to-date figures showing the total proportion and numbers of benefit disqualifications or reductions that are linked to restart interviews; how many of these were(a) because of failure to attend the interview without good cause, together with the number of reinstatements following a later interview, (b) on the grounds of non-availability for work and (c) because of the refusal of suitable offers of employment; how many of these decisions were subject to appeal; and what was the outcome of such appeals.
§ Mr. Lee
[holding answer 7 December 1987]: I have been asked to reply.
Under long-standing legal rules people can lose benefit if they fail to attend an employment interview without good reason. Up to 28 September the total number of claimants disallowed under these rules for failing to attend restart interviews was 27,991. Information is not available on the number of these people who appealed against these dis-allowances nor on the number who had their benefit reinstated following a later interview.
Any refusal of benefit subsequent to a restart interview follows not from the interview itself but from the decision of an independent adjudication officer operating under long-standing legal rules adopted by successive Governments.