§ Mr. Ashley
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment whether the number of places under the sheltered placement scheme will continue to be increased, as stated in chapter 7 of "The Government's Expenditure Plans 1989–90 to 1991–92"; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Hannam
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many new places will be made available under the sheltered placement scheme during the 1990–91 financial year; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Eggar
The Government have confirmed in chapter 6 of "The Government's Expenditure Plans 1990–91 to136W 1992–93" (Cm 1006), published in January 1990, their commitment to the sheltered placement scheme. In 1990–91 the Government are making available to the sheltered employment programme an additional £4.2 million to the money available in the current financial year.
I have decided to direct the additional funds available for next year towards meeting the costs incurred by sponsors rather than to increase the number of places on the programme.
It is intended to increase the annual grant ceiling per place for voluntary bodies by 6 per cent. to £3,480 and the grant to local authorities by 5 per cent. to £2,730. There will, therefore, be no new SPS places available during 1990–91, but previous patterns of turnover indicate that some 1,000 existing places nationally are likely to become vacant to allow new entrants to join the programme.
The employment service is notifying sponsors of these arrangements.