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Unemployment (Building Trade)

Volume 155: debated on Tuesday 20 June 1922

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asked the Prime Minister whether the Government will reconsider their present policy of paying unemployed building operatives £65,000 per week for doing nothing instead of allowing them to build houses?

My right hon. Friend has already on more than one occasion indicated the grounds of the policy adopted by the Government, and the hon. Member may take it that all relevant considerations were taken into account in reaching a decision, including the consideration that the whole burden involved in Government housing undertaken at present normally falls on the taxpayer and lasts for a long period, which it is to be hoped will not be the case as regards unemployment benefit in the building trade. He is glad to note that unemployment in that trade is in fact steadily decreasing.

Would the hon. Gentleman make representations to the Prime Minister that since the last statement made on behalf of the Government the bank rate has fallen, and would therefore reduce considerably any slight loss there might be in the building of houses?