asked the Minister of Labour what study he has made of the memorandum and comments of Mactaggart and Mickel, of Edinburgh, a copy of which has been sent to him, advancing certain conclusions and suggestions for improving the Redundancy Payments Act, 1965; and if he will introduce legislation to amend the Act.
May I offer my good wishes to my hon. Friend on his promotion and wish him well on behalf of the whole House? If he is satisfied with the Answer he has just given and sees no reason for improving the Act, then at least for the time being I am satisfied.
Mr. Edward M. Taylor:
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the memorandum showed up genuine abuse of this generally good Act in particular cases where foremen were offered bribes so that certain people could be sacked and would therefore get redundancy payments? Is he aware of the need to counteract such action and to preserve the whole principle of the Act?
The shortcoming of the memorandum is the fact that it was based on the belief that redundancy payments were designed to compensate a man for the period of unemployment rather than the understanding that redundancy payment; were intended to help him with his initial problems on losing his job. In any case, there is little evidence to support the main contention in the memo- randum and there is no evidence to justify its rather paternalistic suggestion for this amendment.