HC Deb 09 February 1988 vol 127 cc183-4W
78. Mr. Nellist

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services when regulations will he introduced to extend the maximum period of benefit reduction in alleged cases of voluntary unemployment; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Scott

We hope to introduce an order to amend section 20(1) of the Social Security Act 1975, which gives the power to disqualify a person for unemployment benefit, in the near future. Regulations amending the income support regulations consequential on provisions in the current Social Security Bill will follow.

It is the Government's intention that the periods of disqualification for unemployment benefit and for the reduction of income support in cases of voluntary unemployment will be increased from a maximum of 13 weeks to a maximum of 26 weeks from 11 April 1988. Falling unemployment and the strengthening economy are bringing a reduction in the total number of claims for benefit from unemployed people. The number of claims from people who have left jobs voluntarily without just cause has, however, increased.