Unemployment Benefit

Oral Answers to Questions — National Insurance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 20th January 1948.

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Photo of Mr Christopher Hollis Mr Christopher Hollis , Devizes 12:00 am, 20th January 1948

asked the Minister of National Insurance for what reason Mr. Rideout, of 5, Sunny Hill Lane, Oare, near Marlborough, when applying for an increased unemployment benefit in respect of his child, was required to state his parents' income.

Photo of Mr James Griffiths Mr James Griffiths , Llanelly

As I explained in my letter of 31st December to the hon. Member, the child was living with Mr. Rideout's parents, and the information referred to was, therefore, necessary in order to determine whether the provisions of the Unemployment Insurance Act, 1935, were satisfied. Mr. Rideout has been informed that he has a right of appeal to the Court of Referees, but he has not exercised that right.

Photo of Mr Christopher Hollis Mr Christopher Hollis , Devizes

Has not the general impression been spread abroad that the Socialist party are opposed to means tests, and will the right hon. Gentleman take steps to correct that false impression?

Photo of Mr James Griffiths Mr James Griffiths , Llanelly

The new Act does not come into operation until next July; this is under the old Act.

Photo of Mr Quintin Hogg Mr Quintin Hogg , Oxford

asked the Minister of National Insurance whether he has considered the stoppage of unemployment benefit to Miss Joyce Jones, of Ferndale, Rhondda; and what is the justification for it.

Photo of Mr James Griffiths Mr James Griffiths , Llanelly

The hon. Member has no doubt now received a letter dated 8th January, 1948, from my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour and National Service about this case. Miss Jones has appealed to the Court of Referees against the disallowance of benefit, and I will send a copy of the court's decision to the hon. Member when it is received.

Photo of Mr Quintin Hogg Mr Quintin Hogg , Oxford

Does it not really amount to this, that because this girl wants a place of work a little nearer than five miles from her home, since her mother is a widow and her grandmother an invalid, she is now being stopped unemployment benefit in order to gratify the callousness of the Ministry of Labour?

Photo of Mr James Griffiths Mr James Griffiths , Llanelly

Since this case is the subject of an appeal awaiting decision by the Court of Referees, I think we better await the result.

Photo of Mr George Thomas Mr George Thomas , Cardiff Central

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the hon. Member for East Rhondda (Mr. Mainwaring) took up this case weeks ago, and therefore it is quite unnecessary for the hon. Member for Oxford (Mr. Hogg) to amble into Wales?

Photo of Mr James Griffiths Mr James Griffiths , Llanelly

I think the Rhondda Valley will be interested in this new interest taken in it.