Relief Works.

Oral Answers to Questions — Unemployment. – in the House of Commons on 21st February 1922.

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Mr. T. THOMSON:

78.

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury what balances remain unexpended of the various funds to provide work for the unemployed; and what further financial provision the Government intend making so as to ensure a continuation of public works by local authorities during the next six months?

Photo of Mr Edward Young Mr Edward Young , Norwich

I understand that the hon. Member is interested in allocation rather than expenditure. Of the £2,540,000 set aside for land improvement and drainage, forestry, roads and light railways, I am informed that £1,313,500 has been provisionally allocated. In addition, the whole of the £2,000,000 for arterial roads and other road works has been allocated. The whole of the £2,630,000 set aside for the scheme administered by the Unemployment Grants Committee whereby the State bears 60 per cent. of the wages bill of works defrayed by local authorities out of revenue has been allocated.

As regards the second part of the question, works under the schemes I have mentioned will be in operation for some time. Furthermore the Government has decided that the Unemployment Grants Committee may approve schemes up to a total capital value of £18,000,000, an increase of £8,000,000 on the original pro, vision in respect of schemes for which the State assumes a share of the loan charges. Under this head £13,500,000 has already been allocated.

Mr. THOMSON:

Will the hon. Member say whether the increased capital sum is immediately available so that schemes held up by local authorities may be proceeded with at once?

Photo of Mr Edward Young Mr Edward Young , Norwich

It will be available in such a manner that the administration of these schemes, and their approval, may be continuous.