HC Deb 23 March 1987 vol 113 cc16-7W
Mr. Terry Fields

asked the Paymaster General if he has any plans to provide a meal allowance for trainees on the YTS.

Mr. Trippier

The weekly training allowance payable to YTS trainees is intended to cover normal living expenses. including meals.

The first-year allowance will be increased to £28.50 per week from April 1987. I have no plans to introduce an additional meal allowance for YTS trainees.

Mr. Nellist

asked the Paymaster General what is the current real value, based on (a) retail prices index and (b) average earnings, of the YTS allowance compared with its value in 1978.

Mr. Trippier

The youth opportunities programme allowance in 1978 was £19.50, equivalent to about £39 when adjusted to take account of increases since 1978 in the retail price index, and about £47 if the adjustment is based on increases in average earnings. The YTS allowance for first-year trainees will increase from its present £27.30 to £28.50 on 6 April 1987; second year trainees will continue to receive a training allowance of £35 per week. Allowance levels must reflect the fact that trainees are still learning, and YTS provides substantially upgraded training compared with the youth opportunities programme.