HC Deb 22 March 1991 vol 188 cc237-8W
Mr. Ralph Howell

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will estimate the total current cost of unemployment to the Exchequer, including benefits, redundancy fund payments, administrative costs, lost revenue and any other identifiable costs.

Mr. Jack

Benefit expenditure on the unemployed is expected to be £4,850 million in 1990–91. The cost of administering unemployment benefit in 1989–90, the latest year for which figures are available, was £176 million. For other benefits it is not possible to identify separately the administration costs attributable to the unemployed.

Redundancy fund payments are the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Employment, who advises that in 1990–91 redundancy fund payments totalled £141 million. Estimates of tax revenue forgone are not available.