§ Mrs. Helen Jackson
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment (1) what plans he has to alter the criteria for the fares to work scheme for disabled people;
(2) how many disabled people made a successful application to the fares to work scheme in 1992 and 1993; and how many applicants were unsuccessful;
(3) how much his Department spent on the fares to work scheme for disabled people in 1992 and 1993; and how much he intends to spend in 1994.
§ Miss Widdecombe
After 31 March 1994 the fares to work scheme, which helps people with disabilities who are unable to use public transport and who, as a result of their disability, incur extra costs in travelling to and from work, will be replaced by help under the access to work scheme. The main criteria for help under access to work were given in my answer to the hon. Member for Clwyd, North-West (Mr. Richards),Official Report, 22 June 1993, column 102. The current requirement for those being helped with fares to work to be registered under the Disabled Persons (Employment) Act 1944 will be removed. We are considering what transitional arrangements might be appropriate for existing beneficiaries.
The money spent on the fares to work scheme in 1992–93 and 1992–93 was £1,647,857 and £1,800,744 respectively. The numbers helped through the fares to work scheme in 1991–92 and 1992–93 were 1,495 and 1,789 respectively; of these 655 and 433 were new beneficiaries. Statistics on unsuccessful applicants are not collected. Provision for assistance with fares to work in 1994–95 is not identifiable as it has been included in the overall access to work budget. Under access to work, in addition to help with fares, new forms of travel to work help, such as adapting vehicles, can be provided.