Since 1997 the Government have significantly extended and improved civil rights for disabled people in areas such as employment, education, access to goods and services and transport, most recently through the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 which met our commitment to put in place a comprehensive and enforceable set of rights for disabled people. Disabled people in Clwyd, South will have benefited from these significant improvements in disability rights.
The number of disabled people in Clwyd, South claiming disability living allowance or attendance allowance, and thus benefiting from the enhancement of independence and social integration that these benefits provide, has increased by almost 24 per cent. from around 6,200 in May 1997 to about 7,700 in May 2006. These include some 20 disabled three and four-year-old children who are unable, or virtually, unable to walk and are currently receiving the disability living allowance higher-rate mobility component following the Government’s decision in 2001 to reduce the lower age limit for entitlement from five to three years of age1.
Through Jobcentre Plus, we are promoting work as the best form of welfare for people of working age. Since 1997 the number of long-term unemployed in Clwyd, South has fallen by 64 per cent. and the number of young people that are long-term unemployed by 47 per cent.
Our new deals have helped lone parents, the young unemployed, the long-term unemployed, disabled people, the over-50s and partners of unemployed people to move from benefit into work. Nationally over 15 million people have been helped into work by the new deals, with over 3,700 in Clwyd, South.
1 The source of the 1997 aforementioned figures cited is the DWP Information Directorate: 5 per cent. sample. The source of the 2006 figures is the DWP Information Directorate: Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study.