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Redundancy: Government Assistance

Volume 492: debated on Wednesday 20 May 2009

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what measures he introduced in the 2009 Budget to assist householders in circumstances where one or more wage-earners has been made redundant and levels of domestic indebtedness are increasing; (276194)

(2) what measures in the 2009 Budget assist members of black and minority ethnic communities in rural areas who have recently been made redundant.

To help provide support for individuals who have been made redundant, the Budget announced a one-off increase of £30 in the level of statutory redundancy pay, increasing the weekly rate to £380. Redundancy pay is a right for all employees who have worked continuously for their employer for two years and are made redundant. Subject to parliamentary approval, the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform intends to implement this increase on 1 October 2009.

This builds on existing support such as the tax credit system, which is designed to respond quickly to changing circumstances, and has helped 355,000 households living on a lower income to receive an average of £35 per week more in tax credits. The pre-Budget report in November 2008 also announced a substantial package of support. This includes extending the Rapid Response Service, which provides a range of on-site personalised support through Jobcentre Plus; extending Local Employment Partnerships to assist the recently unemployed in their local labour market; and enhancements to Support for Mortgage Interest, to better help people out of work to meet the interest payments on their mortgage.