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Unemployed Persons

Volume 82: debated on Wednesday 10 July 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if Her Majesty's Government will seek powers, in cases where an individual has been unemployed for six months or more, to give him an advance of another year's unemployed benefit for the purpose of a deposit on a house in another part of the United Kingdom on condition that he obtains a skilled job; and if he will make a statement.

Unemployment benefit is a contingency benefit to provide for periods of loss of earnings because of unemployment. It is therefore paid periodically — usually fortnightly — on proof of continuing unemployment. It would be inappropriate, and would change the nature of the benefit, to make advance payments of the kind suggested. However, the Manpower Services Commission's employment transfer scheme gives financial assistance (subject to certain elegibility conditions) to unemployed people moving home to take up employment in another area. Under this scheme, advance payments may be made to help with the deposit or other direct costs of purchasing property.