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Unemployment

Volume 13: debated on Monday 23 November 1981

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give the overall cost of guaranteeing every adult unemployed person employment at £1.50 per hour for up to 40 hours per week, after taking into account increased revenues from national insurance contributions, income tax, and so on, and compare this cost with total expenditure on unemployment benefit, supplementary benefit, rate and rent rebates and all other grants, subsidies and benefits currently being paid to the adult unemployed.

If an attempt were made to eliminate adult unemployment as suggested, there would be consequential changes to earnings, interest rates and so on. This would materially affect public finances and it would not be realistic to assume that tax rates would remain unchanged. The calculation would therefore be too hypothetical for it to be worth attempting.