Skip to main content

Unemployed Councillors

Volume 202: debated on Tuesday 21 January 1992

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) if he will consult local authority organisations on the drafting of the regulations involving changes to the payment of allowances to unemployed councillors; and if he will make a statement;(2) if he will consider including a disregard of the payment of attendance to unemployed councillors serving on local authorities when claiming unemployment benefit; and if he will make a statement;(3) when the change of payment of allowances to unemployed councillors serving on local authorities will be introduced.

The Government responded positively to recent representations from local authority organisations and individual councillors, by proposing to exempt certain allowances payable to local authority councillors from the effects of the unemployment benefit £2 daily work test. The allowances affected are the basic and special responsibility allowances which are paid by way of remuneration for the office held. The Government decided that attendance allowance payable, in contrast, for specific official duties, should continue to be taken into account as earnings for the days on which those duties are performed. The proposal does not extend to the unemployment benefit weekly earnings rule. A councillor whose weekly earnings, including all allowances, exceed the lower earnings limit for national insurance contributions will, as now, not be entitled to unemployment benefit for that week. On 8 January 1992 the Social Security Advisory Committee agreed that the proposed amendment to the Social Security Benefit (Computation of Earnings) Regulations was wholly beneficial and need not be referred to them. We have advised the local authority associations of the proposal and informed them that the change should be in place very soon.