§ Mr. John Grant
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) when he expects to receive the recommendations of the Social Security Advisory Committee on improved opportunities for part-time work for those who are partially incapacitated; and if he will make a statement;
(2) if he will arrange for partial incapacity to be assessed for invalidity benefit on a medical and occupational basis, taking into account reduced earnings capacity;
(3) if he will take steps to ensure harmonisation of a system of partial incapacity benefits within the EEC; and if he will raise this issue at the next Council of Labour and Social Affairs Ministers.
§ Mr. Rossi
I am aware of the problem of providing within the social security system for people who are capable of work but whose disablement limits them to very low earnings or prevents them from working full-time. Disablement is also a prime concern of the Social Security Advisory Committee, and I shall be interested in any recommendations the committee may make for helping people in this position. However, any extension of benefit cover must depend on resources being available and would have to be weighed against other priorities. At present, therefore, my right hon. Friend does not have any proposals to put forward to his colleagues in the European Community.