§ Mr. Loyden
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) if he will estimate the additional costs of job search that unemployed people now have to bear in actively seeking work under the Social Security Act 1989;
(2) whether he intends to increase unemployment benefit and income support to cover extra costs incurred by those actively seeking work by introducing a special job search allowance.
§ Mr. Scott
Unemployed claimants have always been expected to look for work. For the majority of people who have done this, the new condition makes no difference. The cost of job search varies according to circumstances. Some activities cost nothing; many other ways of finding work have a modest cost, for example use of telephones, stationery and postage stamps. The travel-to-interview scheme administered by the employment service is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Employment.
We have no plans to increase benefit rates as suggested.