HC Deb 10 May 1983 vol 42 cc727-8
19. Mr. Pawsey

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what representations he has received about opening jobcentres on Saturdays.

Mr. Peter Morrison

My right hon. Friend has not received any direct representations, but we shall be following the progress of this imaginative experiment with interest.

Mr. Pawsey

I thank my hon. Friend for that typically helpful reply and ask if he will consider extending the experiment. Does he agree that if opening hours were increased more applicants could take advantage of the facilities being offered at jobcentres? Will he take this opportunity to deplore the activities of those irresponsible people who have sought to picket jobcentres?

Mr. Morrison

I agree with my hon. Friend that it is important that the jobcentres should give a service to the public. This experiment is designed to see whether that service is applicable on Saturdays and I applaud the commission for going ahead with it. I also agree that those who demonstrated outside jobcentres, stopping the unemployed coming in, were not exactly helping the unemployed, the very people for whom they pretend to speak.