Mr. John D. Taylor
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what benefits are available to fishermen who are restricted to only one day's work per week due to the inclement weather; and if he will make a statement on social services assistance to those presently employed in the fishing industry at Portavogie.
§ Mr. Needham
[holding answer 14 February 1990]: Unemployment benefit is available to fishermen for those days of the week on which they are unable to work because of inclement weather provided that their earnings for that week do not equal or exceed the lower earnings level for national insurance contribution liability. This is currently £43 a week. Income support may also he available to fishermen who work for fewer than 24 hours a week subject to the normal rules regarding income and capital.
The provision of social services in the Portavogie area is the responsibility of the Eastern health and social services board. The board would consider sympathetically any requests for social services assistance made to it by those employed in the fishing industry at Portavogie or their families.