Transitional Payments.

Oral Answers to Questions — Unemployment. – in the House of Commons on 12th May 1932.

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Photo of Sir Geoffrey Mander Sir Geoffrey Mander , Wolverhampton East

15.

asked the Minister of Labour if be will state in how many cases applications for re-examination in connection with the means test have resulted in increased allowances, in no change, and in reduced allowances in respect of Wolverhampton, Willenhall, Wednesfield, and Short Heath?

Photo of Sir Henry Betterton Sir Henry Betterton , Rushcliffe

I undertook on Tuesday to consider whether these figures could be compiled for particular areas. I regret that I could not do this without being prepared to do the same for all areas and the cost of this could not be justified.

Photo of Mr Valentine McEntee Mr Valentine McEntee , Walthamstow West

16.

asked the Minister of Labour if he is aware that subcommittees of the Essex county public assistance committee in the Romford area are making a second determination of allowance to those in receipt of transitional payment where any odd pence were included in the first determination, and in each such case reducing the benefit to the nearest lower number of shillings; and whether such reductions are made for the convenience of, and at the request of, the officers of his Department?

Photo of Sir Henry Betterton Sir Henry Betterton , Rushcliffe

These determinations were made on the authority's own initiative. No request has been made by my Department in the matter.

Photo of Mr Valentine McEntee Mr Valentine McEntee , Walthamstow West

Will the right hon. Gentleman intimate to the authority concerned that, if there is a difference between the first and second determination, it should be altered to the nearest shilling and not always to the lowest.

Photo of Sir Henry Betterton Sir Henry Betterton , Rushcliffe

No, Sir. I am afraid that I have no power to do anything of the kind. I have no control over the authorities in the matter, which is entirely within their discretion.

Photo of Mr David Kirkwood Mr David Kirkwood , Dumbarton District of Burghs

Is it not the case that, if it is found that any authority is paying more than is considered the proper scale, one of the Departments will interfere and send down a permanent official, and so do away with the public representatives? If the right hon. Gentleman has that power when he thinks they are paying too much, surely he has the same power to increase the amount when they are paying too little?

Photo of Sir Henry Betterton Sir Henry Betterton , Rushcliffe

No, Sir. I can only add to the statement which I have already made that I have no control over the authorities. If they choose to adopt the method which has been suggested in the question, it is entirely a matter for them.