§ Mr. Wigley
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will make a statement on the future of the disability working allowance. 
§ Mr. Andrew Mitchell
The Government are committed to helping sick and disabled people who wish to return to work and disability working allowance is an important element of our approach. This benefit is530W providing valuable help to an increasing number of people: currently there are nearly 11,000 recipients, more than double the number 18 months ago. Similarly, expenditure for 1995–96 has risen to an estimated £15 million, just under three quarters of the total spend for the first three years.
Research conducted by the Policy Studies Institute into the performance of disability working allowance has recently been published and this, along with our own more recent management information, will be used to continue to look at ways of refining and improving the benefit.