HC Deb 25 October 1976 vol 918 cc84-5W
Mr. Ovenden

asked the Secretary of State for Employment (1) how many requests for assistance with transport to work were received by the Employment Services Agency from disabled people in the last 12 months for which figures are available; how many were approved; and what was the total cost of such assistance;

(2) if he will publish in the Official Report the criteria which govern the granting of financial assistance to disabled people for the purposes of travel to work; and what is the maximum amount which may be paid to any individual;

(3) if he will instruct the Employment Services Agency to publicise more widely the availability of financial assistance for disabled people in connection with travel to work.

Mr. John Grant

I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that during the financial year ended 31st March 1976 new applications were received from 192 people and 136 were approved; the total expenditure on the scheme was 64,735.

The criteria which govern the granting of financial assistance for travel to work are that the applicant must be (1) registered under the Disabled Persons (Employment) Act 1944, (2) employed under special conditions in ordinary employment, and (3) unable to use public transport because of disability or because there is none.

The amount of grant is calculated having regard to a number of factors affecting income and expenditure. This includes reference to a scale of "notional subsistence" allowances, which is based upon Government training allowances and takes account of the number of dependants. A personal notional subsistence level is fixed for each applicant by adding together (1) the appropriate scale allowance, (2) half the sum by which the applicant's income exceeds that allowance and (3) the cost of the journey by car or by taxi.

The ESA pays the amount, if any, by which an applicant's income falls short of the notional subsistence level. There is no maximum amount of grant. The Employment Service Agency has already decided to publicise the scheme more widely by the inclusion of references to it in forthcoming publications and by the issue of a leaflet, specifically about the

Numbers registered as unemployed Notified unfilled vacancies
Total School-leavers (included in total) At Employment Office At Careers Office
September 1973 1,482 19 2,786 525
September 1974 1,717 19 3,913 382
September 1975 4,193 98 895 65
September 1976 6,056 227 917 78

The vacancy figures relate only to vacancies notified to the employment office and careers office and are not a measure of total vacancies. Because of possible duplication, the two series should not be added together.