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Unemployment Benefit

Volume 886: debated on Friday 14 February 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the present cost to the Exchequer, in a full year, of the earnings-related part of unemployment benefits; what is the net income of a married man with two children under 11 years of age who is earning the average national wage; and to what the same man's earnings-related unem- ployment benefit—together with any other social security allowances he and his family may typically expect to receive—would amount.

In 1973–74, the cost to the National Insurance Fund of earnings-related supplement of unemployment benefit was £23 million. The Exchequer supplement represents about 15 per cent. of the income of that fund. Using £50 a week as an estimate of current national average earnings, weekly income net of income tax—taking personal allowances only into account—and national insurance contributions, and including family allowance, would be £38.92; and on the assumption that throughout the tax year 1973–74 the man received weekly earnings at the level of the national average in October 1973–i.e., £40.92—he would be entitled to earnings-related supplement of £8.55 a week, payable in addition to flat-rate unemployment benefit of £18.40 and family allowance of 90p.