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Volume 975: debated on Monday 10 December 1979

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the average number of unemployed in the first half of 1979; and what was the average amount spent on unemployment benefits, job creation schemes etc. and unemployment-related supplementary benefits etc.

The number of unemployed is published in the Department of Employment Gazette. I have been informed from the Departments concerned that, in the first half of this financial year, the total spending on unemployment benefits was £280 million, selective employment schemes £163 million, and unemployment-related supplementary benefits £320 million.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in making his forecast of public expenditure for 1980–81 what unemployment figures he was assuming for England, Wales and Scotland.

As I informed the House on 1 November, a broad working assumption of unemployment in Great Britain was used for the calculation of the social security programme. It is not necessary for this purpose to make separate assumptions for the individual countries and the information requested is not available.