HC Deb 07 November 1960 vol 629 cc627-8
9. Mr. McLaren

asked the Minister of Labour whether a decision has yet been reached on the financial provision to be made for Remploy Limited during the five years beginning in April, 1961.

Mr. Hare

During the financial year 1961–62 a grant of £2,750,000 will be paid towards the Company's running expenses compared with an estimate of £2,694,000 for the current year. The 1961–62 figure will be increased by £50,000 in each subsequent year to £2,950,000 in 1965–66. In addition, £1,750,000 will be made available during the five-year period by way of loan to cover capital expenditure, subject to any over-riding need to reduce public investment generally. Both these figures represent a substantial increase over those provided for the current five-year period and over the next five years should enable the Company to effect a progressive increase in the numbers of severely disabled persons employed.

I am very glad that it has been possible to provide this additional financial support to Sir Alec Zealley, the Chairman of Remploy, and the directors and staff, who in the last few years have achieved a striking increase in production and sales, and I am sure that hon. Members in all parts of the House who are aware of the Company's splendid work for the disabled will welcome this chance of further expansion.

Mr. McLaren

While thanking my right hon. Friend for that encouraging reply, may I ask him whether the success of Remploy does not largely depend on its increasing both its sales and its productivity? Could he say what progress has been made in both those directions?

Mr. Hare

I think that my hon. Friend is right. May I give him these figures: sales increased from £2,999,000 in 1955 to an estimated £5,450,000 this year, and net output per man rose over the same period from £223 to an estimated £430.