HC Deb 21 June 1979 vol 968 cc668-9W
Mr. J. Enoch Powell

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps he will take to investigate and reduce the excessive level of physical disability in counties Fermanagh and Tyrone compared with the rest of Northern Ireland, as disclosed by the return of votes cast by absent voters at the recent general election.

Mr. Humphrey Atkins

The number of votes cast by absent voters in these two counties does not necessarily indicate an excessive level of physical disability, since a variety of factors may contribute to the level of absent voting. However, information about the numbers of people in different parts of Northern Ireland who are handicapped by disability or chronic illness will be provided by a household survey currently being conducted on behalf of the Department of Health and Social Services for Northern Ireland. The survey is expected to be completed in 1980.