Disabled People

Oral Answers to Questions — Social Services – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 8th March 1988.

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Photo of Mrs Maria Fyfe Mrs Maria Fyfe , Glasgow Maryhill 12:00 am, 8th March 1988

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what plans he has to monitor the implementation of the Disabled Persons (Services, Consultation and Representation) Act 1986.

Photo of Mr Nicholas Scott Mr Nicholas Scott , Chelsea

The Social Services Inspectorate is exploring ways of monitoring the effects of the Act. It has close links with the services concerned, and its role involves promoting efficient and effective use of resources, identifying good practice and making it known.

Photo of Mrs Maria Fyfe Mrs Maria Fyfe , Glasgow Maryhill

That is not much of an answer. Can the Minister explain the delay of nearly two years in the implementation of section 3 of the 1986 Act, especially bearing in mind that section's potential to enable disabled people to make their own voices heard as consumers of these services?

Photo of Mr Nicholas Scott Mr Nicholas Scott , Chelsea

The Government have made it clear that they want to proceed steadily with the implementation of the Act. In advance of implementing each section we have detailed consultations with bodies representing local authorities. We want to make sure that the resources are available to ensure the effective implementation of each section.

Photo of Mr Roland Boyes Mr Roland Boyes , Houghton and Washington

Is the Minister satisfied with his Department's attitude to disabled persons, especially with regard to the employment quota? I have the February 1988 figures, and the DHSS employs only 1·3 per cent. of disabled persons, which is well below the accepted and recommended 3 per cent. quota. The Government's attitude to the disabled is a scandal. The Minister's Department cannot get its disabled employment quota up to 3 per cent. and, similarly, not one Government Department employs the 3 per cent. quota of disabled persons.

Photo of Mr Nicholas Scott Mr Nicholas Scott , Chelsea

I take seriously the responsibility for promoting the employment of disabled people. This Government introduced the fit for work campaign and the code of good practice for the employment of disabled people. However, I take note of the hon. Gentleman's point.