HC Deb 12 April 1994 vol 241 c62W
Mr. Maginnis

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland to what extent active involvement of over 12 hours per week during normal working hours in the organisation and running of a political party is taken as sufficient ground for refusing an unemployed claimant income support on the basis that the person is not actively seeking work or available for work.

Mr. Ancram

Responsibility for the subject in question has been delegated to the Social Security Agency under its chief executive, Mr. Alec Wylie. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from A. Wylie to Mr. Ken Maginnis, dated 30 March 1994: I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the effect which active involvement in the work of a political party has on an unemployed person's entitlement to Income Support. Firstly, I should explain that entitlement to Income Support depends on the facts surrounding the individual's circumstances, decisions on which are taken by Adjudication Officers who are independent of the Department of Health and Social Services. Active involvement of over 12 hours a week in the organisation and running of a political party is not of itself sufficient grounds for refusing benefit. Much would depend on the individual's particular circumstances as to whether he or she fully satisfied the availability and actively seeking work conditions. I hope this explains the position for you.