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Volume 82: debated on Tuesday 2 July 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many people, referred to an insurance officer for either refusing suitable employment or neglecting to avail themselves of opportunities for work, have had benefit denied in consequence in: 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983 and 1984, respectively.

The numbers of people in Great Britain disqualified for receiving unemployment benefit for these reasons are as follows. Figures for 1984 are not yet available.

Refusal of suitable employmentNeglect to availTotal
Although supplementary benefit may be withheld if a claimant refuses suitable employment and if the situation is still vacant or open to application, such cases are rare, and no statistics are available about the number of cases in which this happens. However, a voluntary unemployment deduction is applied to a supplementary allowance when a person has been disqualified, or would be disqualified, for receiving unemployment benefit under section 20(1) of the Social Security Act. This may be for other reasons than refusal of employment, for example because of leaving work voluntarily without just cause, but the available statistics do not permit the precise reason for deductions to be identified. The following table therefore shows all cases with such deductions.

United Kingdom

Reductions of Supplementary Benefit



* The supplementary benefit figures have been estimated from information in the Annual Statistical Enquiry, on the assumption that deductions apply for, on average, four weeks.