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Disabled Persons

Volume 975: debated on Tuesday 11 December 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment what additional steps he proposes to take to enable disabled people to play a part in the economic recovery of Great Britain by reducing unemployment among the disabled from the present level of twice the national average.

Practical experience shows that, given rehabilitation and training where necessary, and placing in the right job, most disabled people can compete on equal terms with the able-bodied in the world of work. We therefore attach great importance to assisting disabled people to obtain suitable employment. Our continuing support for the Manpower Services Commission's (MSC) "Fit for Work" campaign, the awards scheme and MSC's resettlement schemes for disabled people reflects the value we place on the contribution disabled people can make to the economic well-being of the country.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will bring forward proposals to give discretionary powers to local authorities to pay more than the £4 disregard to disabled workers without it affecting social security payments.

I have been asked to reply.The powers of local authorities do not limit the amounts they can pay to disabled workers. Those receiving supplementary benefit will have only up to £4 disregarded. Any increase in that amount will be a matter of priorities for consideration as resources permit.