HC Deb 21 June 1972 vol 839 cc448-9
7. Mr. Dempsey

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will take steps to provide persons who are entitled to invalid cars but who forgo them with cash grants to cover the full cost of adapting their own cars.

The Under-Secretary of State for Health and Education, Scottish Office (Mr. Hector Monro)

No, Sir. People who forgo invalid cars are given an allowance of £100 per annum towards the cost of maintaining their own vehicle.

Mr. Dempsey

If the local authorities decide that the extent of a person's disablement justifies the award of an invalid car, should not that person be entitled to forfeit the car for the equivalent of a cash grant to enable him or her to provide his own transport with an extra seat so that he may have his wife or spouse or other company in case of breakdown on lonely roads? Is not this a sensible proposition?

Mr. Monro

The hon. Gentleman will realise that there are a number of alternative options open to pensioners under the latest scheme. Every individual case must be looked at on its merits. I should be glad if the hon. Gentleman would let me have details of any case he has in mind.

Mr. John Wells

Will my hon. Friend look at this matter again? There are many cases of individual hardship where it would cost the Exchequer less to provide cash for people to adapt their own cars and at the same time, as the hon. Member for Coatbridge and Airdrie (Mr. Dempsey) has rightly pointed out, they could take their spouse or their boy friend or girl friend with them, because many of them are young people. I urge my hon. Friend to look at the matter again.

Mr. Monro

I note what my hon. Friend says. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Services has requested Baroness Sharp to conduct a comprehensive inquiry into this whole subject. We hope to have the results of the inquiry later this year.

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