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Benefit (Local Authority Members)

Volume 463: debated on Tuesday 5 April 1949

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asked the Minister of National Insurance what instructions are issued to employment exchanges with regard to granting or refusing benefit to applicants who may be members of local authorities on the grounds that they are not available for work.

I have no power to issue instructions as to the manner in which the statutory conditions for benefit are to be applied either generally or in particular cases. It is for the independent statutory authorities to interpret these conditions with such guidance as may be derived from principles laid down in previous cases.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that in Scotland there are councillors who are sometimes our of em- ployment who are being refused benefit at the employment exchanges because it is said they are not available for employment, even in areas where the council meetings are held at night?

I understand that in two cases the payment of unemployment benefit on certain days has been varied, and that they have made an appeal. The cases are shortly to come before the tribunal, and it would be quite wrong of me to comment while the cases are awaiting hearing.