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Unemployment Benefit

Volume 79: debated on Tuesday 21 May 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when the new arrangements for the payment of unemployment benefit, foreshadowed in his uprating statement on 18 June 1984, will come into effect.

As my right hon. Friend told the House on 18 June 1984, we propose to change the basis of payment of unemployment benefit so that all new claimants will be paid for—nightly in arrears instead of one week in advance and one in arrears, as at present. This will not affect the amount of unemployment benefit properly paid to claimants, but it will cut out over-payments that are caused now by people returning to work during the advance payment period. Implementation of this change has been delayed because of other pressures on local offices and in particular the need to recover from the after-effects of the Newcastle computer dispute.It will now be implemented from 15 July. The change will apply to claims processed from that date, but current cases will generally continue to be paid on the present basis.