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1979-1987 : Mr Major’s Written Parliamentary Answer on Unemployment Benefit

Below is the text of Mr Major's written Parliamentary Answer on Unemployment Benefit on 11th February 1986.


Mr. McGuire Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will introduce legislation to seek to enable YTS trainees to qualify for unemployment benefit after they have completed their training; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Major To receive unemployment benefit a person must satisfy two conditions. First he must have actually paid a certain amount of Class 1 contributions at some time; and second, he must have paid or been credited with enough contributions in the relevant tax year. YTS trainees receive a training allowance, not earnings, and they are not in class 1 employment. They therefore do not pay contributions but they are given credits for the training period which assist them to satisfy the second contribution condition. A YTS trainee will therefore receive unemployment benefit only if he paid enough contributions before commencing training to satisfy the first contribution condition. The Government have no plans to alter this situation. Supplementary benefit, which is not dependent on contribution conditions, is available to trainees who are unemployed on completion of their training.

Mr. Robert Banks Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the benefit to the Exchequer of reduced unemployment benefits being paid to those who undertake duties in the Territorial Army volunteer reserve.

Mr. Major A reservist who is in receipt of unemployment benefit loses benefit of up to £5.07 for himself, or £8.21 if he has an adult dependant, for each day, other than Sundays, on which he undertakes duties in the Territorial Army Volunteer Reserve and earns more than £2. Supplementary benefit is reduced by the amount by which TA pay exceeds £32 in a month. Both benefits are withdrawn for the period of the annual camp. Information on the total amount of benefit withheld as a result of these procedures is not available.