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Unemployed Persons

Volume 972: debated on Tuesday 30 October 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will publish the number and percentage of unemployed claimants registered for work for over 26 weeks and up to 52 weeks and over 52 weeks for 1977, 1978 and the latest available date.

The quarterly duration analysis relates to all registered unemployed people, regardless of whether they are claimants to benefit. Following are the latest figures, which are for July 1979, together with corresponding figures for 1977 and 1978:disabled people to obtain or retain employment since October 1978; and whether he intends to expand the provisions of the scheme.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how much money has been spent since July 1978 on help with travel-to-work costs for severely disabled people who are unable to travel by public transport because of their disabilities; if he has any plans to vary the scheme; and whether it is intended to increase the level of assistance in line with the rate of inflation.

I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that expenditure on its fares-to-work scheme from July 1978 to September 1979—the latest date available—was £173,376.There are no plans to vary the scheme. There is a built-in mechanism to take account of inflation, and the current maximum weekly grant of £30 will be raised to £36 on 14 November 1979.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will give an assurance that there will be no reduction in allocated spending on the fares-to-work, job introduction, capital grant and special aid schemes for the employment of disabled people.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment (1) if he will give an assurance that employment rehabilitation centres will not be closed;(2) if he will give an assurance that job training for the disabled at specialist residential colleges will not be reduced;(3) if he will give an assurance that the number of employment advisers will be maintained;(4) if he will give an assurance that the disablement resettlement service will not be reduced;(5) if he will give an assurance that plans to increase sheltered employment places will not be abandoned or revised to reduce the number of extra places proposed;(6) if he will exempt services designed to aid the employment of disabled people from planned public spending cuts in the budgets of his Department and the Manpower Services Commission.

[pursuant to his reply, 29 October 1979]: The existing services to disabled people, provided by the Manpower Services Commission, will not be subject to expenditure cuts during 1979–80.Future staffing and expenditure on the Manpower Services Commission's training and employment services, including those for disabled people, is currently being reviewed as part of the Government's general reappraisal of public service expenditure and manpower.Services to disabled people are being examined within the general context of the necessary reductions in the scale of MSCs operations with a view to establishing the most effective means of helping disabled people. It remains our concern to concentrate help on those who most need it.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will give an assurance that disablement advisory committees will not be abolished.

[pursuant to his reply, 29 October 1979]: A working party of the national advisory council on employment of disabled people was set up in April 1978 to review the role of disablement advisory committees. I will await the outcome of that review before making any decision as to their future.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will give an assurance that the national advisory council for the employment of disabled people will not be abolished.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will maintain the timetable for consultation on review of the quota scheme for the employment of disabled people regardless of public expenditure considerations.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will withdraw the document sent to members of the national advisory council on the employment of disabled people asking for the council's advice on ways to cut public spending on the employment of disabled people.