Press Releases

HISTORIC PRESS RELEASE : A Better Deal for Disabled People – Chancellor Gordon Brown and Social Security Secretary Alistair Darling launch the Disabled Person´s Tax Credit [October 1999]

The press release issued by HM Treasury on 26 October 1999.

Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling Launch the Disabled Person’s Tax Credit

Disabled men and women in work received a major boost in their wage packets with the official launch of the Disabled Person’s Tax Credit (DPTC) today by the Chancellor Gordon Brown and Social Security Secretary Alistair Darling.

DPTC will guarantee a minimum income of £230 for a family with someone in full-time work and with one child – at least £80 for couples and £120 for lone parents more than the family would get on benefits.

A family with two young children earning £13,000 will be £2,500 – £45 a week – better off. The introduction of DPTC will not only make work pay but increase employment opportunities for disabled men and women.

Launching DPTC at the Leonard Cheshire Foundation in London, the Chancellor said:

“Today with the introduction of the Disabled Person’s Tax Credit, we are seeking to re-establish the right to work that disabled men and women should have.

“We know that there are one million disabled men and women who want to work.

“DPTC is one of a number of measures that will make work easier and worthwhile for disabled men and women.”

At the launch Social Security Secretary Alistair Darling said:

“The DPTC provides a major boost to those disabled people who in the past have been excluded from the workplace. We are determined to do everything we can to help disabled people who want work to do so – and make sure that it pays to work.

“We are also doing far more to help people who can’t work – helping those who need help most. That’s why we have introduced more help for young severely disabled children and a disability income guarantee. We’re doing more to help people who want to work – and more for those who can’t.”

The DPTC is part of a package of measures that will make work worthwhile and easier. As well as DPTC the package includes:

  • the £195 million New Deal for Disabled People which provides personal advice and support to 250,000 disabled people who wish to move into work and £5 million set aside for innovative pilots to test new ways to help;
  • through the Job Introduction Scheme, employers can receive a 6 week subsidy (13 weeks in exceptional circumstances) to take on disabled employees. Together with the Access to Work support, this is an additional £30 million package for specialist disability services;
  • the linking rule, which allows a disabled man or woman on longer term incapacity benefits to return to the same level of benefit within 12 months if the job does not work out; and
  • the setting up of a Disability Rights Commission to work towards the elimination of discrimination against disabled people.

DPTC will be paid through the wage packet from April 2000 and should reduce the stigma of claiming in-work support as well as showing the reward of work over welfare.

From October 2000, there will be a new fast track gateway which will help people who become disabled while working to remain in work, by widening access to DPTC to people who have been sick for 20 weeks, if their condition is likely to last another six months, and their earnings are to be reduced by 20%. People who become disabled while working are most likely to find work with their existing employer, and the longer someone is out of the labour market the less likely they are to return to work.