§ 49. Mr. Edward Evans
asked the Minister of Labour whether he has recognised for grant aid scales of wages negotiated between the managements of blind workshops and the local authorities, on the one hand, and the recognised representatives of blind workers, on the other; why there 2367 has been delay in reaching a settlement of the wage scale; and what difficulties lie in the way of achieving agreement.
§ Mr. Isaacs
The payment which it is proposed to make to local authorities towards their costs in providing employment for blind persons is not related to any particular scale of wages. There is, therefore, no question of wage scales needing to be recognised. Their settlement is a matter for the parties concerned.
§ Mr. Evans
Could the Minister tell us whether there is any difficulty over duplication of responsibility owing to the duties laid upon local authorities under the National Assistance Act and those laid on his Department under the Disabled Persons (Employment) Act? It is recognised that there are very great difficulties in implementing the national scales under blind welfare, so will my right hon. Friend look into the whole question?
§ Mr. Isaacs
As to the first part of the supplementary question, I can assure the hon. Gentleman that there is no difficulty between the responsible bodies in handling this question. With regard to the scales, there is some difficulty amongst the local authorities and those acting for the workers in coming to a decision, but that does not affect the grant made by the Ministry, which is made irrespective of rates of wages.