asked the Minister of Labour what has been the result of the relaxation of the rules regarding unemployment benefit for seasonal workers; and whether, in view of the satisfactory condition of the fund, he now feels justified in admitting these workers to benefit on normal terms?
There has been a substantial reduction in the number of disallowances imposed under the provisions relating to seasonal workers since the Anomalies (Seasonal Workers) Order, 1935, came into force. I have no further amendment of this Order in contemplation at the present time.
Can the Minister give any figures in support of the statement that the position of seasonal workers is improving?
Yes, in the 12 months preceding that date the number of claims disallowed by the court of referees under the regulations was 18,435, and in the subsequent 12 months the number of disallowances was only 10,853.
Is the right hon. Gentleman considering a repeal of these harsh provisions?
As I have pointed out, these provisions have been greatly mitigated by the Order passed by the House.
Would they not be mitigated much more by repealing them altogether?
There is another side to the case.