HC Deb 10 November 2000 vol 356 cc440-1W
Dr. Lynne Jones

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what schemes exist to enable unemployed households in receipt of Income Support covering mortgage interest payments to take up job opportunities available to them. [136815]

Mr. Bayley

In addition to the range of work incentives already available to recipients of Income Support and income based Jobseeker's Allowance, specific help to support home owners moving into full-time work was announced by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor in his Budget Statement.

From April 2001 home owners who have been receiving Income Support or income based Jobseeker's Allowance continuously for 26 weeks and who have help with their mortgage interest payments will continue to receive help with their mortgage interest for a further four weeks after starting full-time work. This measure will help to ease the transition into work by offering a financial cushion for the first few weeks in employment when people may have to wait for their first earnings: 60,000 home owners are expected to benefit from this help each year with average gains of between £30 and £35 per week.

In addition, we want to encourage home owners to try work. From April 2001 benefit-linking arrangements will be extended from the current 12 weeks to 52 weeks for home owners taking up employment. Home owners will be able to take up short-term or seasonal work secure in the knowledge that if they need to reclaim Income Support or income-based Jobseeker' s Allowance within a year, they will immediately qualify for help with their mortgage interest payments.

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