HC Deb 22 June 1999 vol 333 cc339-40W
Mr. Wyatt

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what plans he has for improving employment opportunities for people with disabilities. [86625]

Ms Hodge

Disabled people are already benefiting from the New Deals and other changes that the Government have introduced in the last two years. The New Deal for Disabled People is piloting a range of initiatives, to help disabled people and those with long-term illness on incapacity benefits into work and training through the Government's Welfare to Work approach, at a cost of £195 million. In addition there are a range of existing employment programmes targeted at people with disabilities. They include the Supported Employment Programme, Access to Work and the Job Introduction Scheme. Last October my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced that a further £30 million would be spent over 3 years to expand these programmes. This will bring planned spending on specialist disability measures to some £570 million for the next three years.