HC Deb 28 March 1995 vol 257 cc611-2W
Mr. Simpson

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is his Department's proposed additional expenditure to help people coming off incapacity benefits in each of the years 1995–96, 1996–97 and 1997–98; on what items it is to be spent; and how many people it is estimated will be helped in each of those years. [16115]

Miss Widdecombe

Responsibility for the subject of the question has been delegated to the Employment Service Agency under its chief executive. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from M. E. G. Fogden to Mr. Alan Simpson, dated 28 March 1995: The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question about proposed additional expenditure to help people coming off Incapacity Benefit (IB). We are keen to ensure that people no longer entitled to IB who make a claim for unemployment benefit are given effective help with returning to work. We therefore intend to provide a comprehensive package of additional help for them. Clients coming off IB will be eligible for immediate entry to a number of our programmes. As a result a number of additional places in Jobplan Workshop (JPW), and Jobclub/Job Interview Guarantee (JIG) scheme are being funded, details of which are as follows.

Year Clients Programme Cost
1995 to 1996 86,000 JPW £9,630,000
70,000 Jobclub/JIG £13,230,000
1996 to 1997 66,700 JPW £7,837,000
58,000 Jobplan/JIG £11,063,000
1997 to 1998 15,400 JPW £1,900,000
14,000 Jobplan/JIG £2,683,000

Those people who are identified at an initial interview as needing specialist help will be referred to Placing, Assessment and Counselling Teams, the number of clients and additional costs for which are estimated as follows.

Year Clients Cost £
1995 to 1996 40,000 11,840,000
1996 to 1997 29,000 8,787,000
1997 to 1998 15,000 3,266,000

All new clients who were previously claiming IB will be given, like all new clients, a full advisory interview when they make their claim for unemployment benefit. This interview will provide the opportunity for a full discussion of the client's job goals and of the most appropriate means for achieving this.

I hope this information is helpful and assures you of our intent to provide clients who were previously claiming IB with practical advice and information which is geared to their individual needs.

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