§ Mr. Meacher
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment, under the Government's proposals for training for the unemployed, how many(a) single persons and (b) married men are expected to receive (i) more and (ii) less than the present £67 per week average paid under the existing community programme; what percentages these are of the total; and if he will give a breakdown according to whether persons will gain or lose by multiples of £5 a week.
§ Mr. Cope
[holding answer 1 March 1988]: I regret the information requested is not available as it has not been possible to estimate the numbers of trainees who will receive particular amounts in the new programme.
Participants in the new programme will be paid an allowance at the rates recommended by the Manpower Services Commission. These payments will not be subject to income tax or national insurance contributions. All participants will be better off than they would be if they remain unemployed. Many will also be better off than they would have been on the £67 average wage paid on the community programme; such wages are of course subject to deductions for income tax and national insurance contributions.
The new training programme will replace not only the community programme but all the Government's training programmes for unemployed adults. In the large majority of cases, payments to trainees on the new programme will be at least as high as those on the existing programmes.