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Unemployment Benefit

Volume 941: debated on Wednesday 14 December 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what, at the latest date for which figures are available, are the main reasons for the unemployed not receiving unemployment benefit; if he will indicate the relative importance of this factor in making unemployed persons dependent on supplementary benefit; and if he will distinguish under both headings, the proportion of those with a

Reason for non-payment of unemployment benefitEstimated number of personsEstimated percentage of persons in column 2 in receipt of supplementary benefit
Exhausted flat-rate benefit222,00077
Contribution deficiency207,000*83
Awaiting decision on claim108,00032
Disqualified from receipt of benefit for voluntarily leaving employment or industrial misconduct39,00044
Waiting days being served7,50020
Other reasons29,00050
* Includes:—
Persons aged 16 to 1967,20086%
Married woman13,60044%

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many unemployed are not receiving unemployment benefit (a) because this benefit is exhausted and (b) because of a contribution deficiency; and how many of the latter group are school leavers, married women and those in and out of employment at the latest date for which figures are available.

Information is not held in precisely the form requested. However, as at 2nd August 1977, the latest date for which figures are available, 999,000 persons registered as unemployed were not in receipt of unemployment benefit. Of these persons, 297,000 had exhaused their flat-rate benefit, 172,000 were awaiting a decision on a claim to unemployment benefit and 531,000—including 238,000 school leavers and students and 30,000 married women—were not receiving unemployment benefit for other reasons. It is not known how many of this latter group had a deficient contribution record or how many had a history of intermittent employment during the relevant past period.