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Unemployment Benefit

Volume 164: debated on Thursday 21 December 1989

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) how many claimants of unemployment benefit will be denied benefit in the travel-to-work areas in the constituency of Roxburgh and Berwickshire by imposition of the £43 weekly earnings rule;(2) if he will list the proportion of claimants of unemployment benefit in each travel-to-work area in the United Kingdom who will be denied unemployment benefit by the new £43 weekly earnings rule.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will estimate the number of people who will be excluded from unemployment benefit by the new £43 weekly earnings rule.

It is estimated that, in any one week, around 5,000 people declare earnings in excess of £43 and will lose unemployment benefit.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will undertake a full review of benefits available to claimants of unemployment benefit to include the implications of new patterns of work for those claiming benefit.

We have no plans to undertake a full review of unemployment benefit. We have recently introduced a number of changes to make the benefit more relevant to current needs. We are of course monitoring the effects of those changes.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will contact each of the people who lost their entitlement to unemployment benefit on 1 January 1989 to inform them that they are entitled to reclaim that benefit in line with section 16(1)(c) of the Interpretation Act 1978 and the previous decision of the Social Security Commissioner in paragraph 5 of case CG/069/1988 and in case Z/10/4811/Norwich.

An appeal has been lodged with the Social Security Commissioner against the social security appeal tribunal's decision. It would not be appropriate to anticipate the outcome.