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Disabled Persons

Volume 975: debated on Wednesday 5 December 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if his Department intends to provide long-term funding for sexual problems of the disabled; and if he will make a statement;(2) what was the amount of the grant announced by his Department for dealing with sexual problems of the disabled, earlier in the current year; where and on what date it was announced; and what is the total amount to be paid in grants by his Department for the organisation for the year ending 31 March 1980.

The Department has agreed to make an interim grant of £15,600 to the Committee for the Sexual and Personal Relationships of the Disabled for 1979–80 to cover the 11 months 1 May 1979 to 31 March 1980, an annual rate of £17,000. Half the £15,600 was paid on 23 October and a quarter, £3,900, was paid on 3 December. A further £3,900 is due to be paid early in February 1980. This should enable the committee to maintain its present level of activities, towards the cost of which the grant is contributing more than 80 per cent. As my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State announced at the committee's conference in July, the Department has undertaken in principle to provide a total of up to £27,000 in 1979–80 to permit an increase in the activities of the headquarters organisation. The Department will meet this commitment as required for the activities in question: officials will discuss the details with the committee. The Department is encouraging it to increase its other sources of revenue but in so far as it is unable to do this for 1980–81 the Department will consider sympathetically how far we shall be able to continue assisting it to maintain its activities at the agreed level. It is not possible at this stage to undertake any firm level of commitment beyond 1980–81.