HC Deb 23 January 1998 vol 304 cc727-8W
Mr. Watts

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security when the regulations to extend the number of waiting days in Jobseeker's Allowance from three to seven with effect from April 1999 will be laid. [25724]

Mr. Keith Bradley

As I announced on 2 July, we are proceeding with the previous Government's decision that the number of waiting days before Jobseeker's Allowance becomes payable will be increased from three days to seven days from April 1999.

The Jobseeker's Allowance (Amendment) Regulations 1998 (S.I. 1998/71) which extend the number of waiting days in Jobseeker's Allowance from April 1999, together with the Social Security Advisory Committee's Report (Command Paper Number 3829), have been laid in the House.

As the Committee is aware, we have taken steps to ensure that no one will have to wait longer than under the current system before benefit becomes payable. We have also agreed to follow the Committee's recommendation to monitor carefully how the administrative easement works in practice.

For those participating in the New Deal for young unemployed people, the Government have introduced a change to the linking rules so that jobseekers will not have

Dr. Howells

The total level of the Department's budget in cash and constant 1996–97 prices for (i) further education and (ii) higher education, and the Government funding per full-time equivalent student are shown in the following table:

to serve a further set of waiting days if they claim Jobseeker's Allowance at the end of their time on the New Deal. Our priority is getting people back to work. Our Welfare to Work measures will do this.