§ 33. Mr. Purchase
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what steps she has taken to help the long-term sick and disabled into work. 
§ Mr. Denham
The Government are committed to improving opportunities and incentives for disabled people who want to work, whilst providing appropriate support to those who cannot. There are four strands to our strategy for helping people with disabilities or long-term sickness who want to work; taking action to help make work pay; providing the active help and encouragement people with disabilities need to move into work; removing obstacles to work from the benefits system; and promoting radical change in the work place to ensure equality and opportunity.
Specific initiatives include the New Deal for Disabled People, under which we will pilot a new Personal Adviser Service and fund a number of innovative schemes to test ways of helping disabled people who want to work; changes to benefit rules, including a new 52 week linking rule for incapacity benefits to be introduced from this October; the Disabled Persons Tax Credit, which we are developing to replace and enhance Disability Working Allowance; and the Disability Rights Task Force, which we have set up to advise on the best ways to secure civil rights and maximise the benefits of the Disability Discrimination Act (the remaining provisions of which we are committed to implementing). We are also setting up a Disability Rights Commission, to promote, protect and enforce the rights of disabled people.