HC Deb 07 May 1973 vol 856 cc9-10
8. Mr. Probert

asked the Secretary of State for Wales how many wheelchairs were issued by his Department in the last 12 months.

Mr. Gibson-Watt

In the 12 months ending 31st March 1973, 2,265 standard model wheelchairs were issued by the appliance centres in Cardiff and Wrex-ham; and 450 specially adapted chairs were issued on behalf of the Welsh Office by the Department of Health and Social Security at Blackpool.

Mr. Probert

I thank the hon. Gentleman for the figures which he has given. Is he aware that, since his Department cannot supply the whole demand, the rest of the demand has to be made up to some extent by the excellent work of voluntary organisations? Therefore, does he not think it wicked to impose a 10 percent. tax upon voluntary organisations for providing those wheelchairs? Further, is he aware that, in consequence of the tax, approximately one in 10 of the people who require such assistance will be deprived of it.

Mr. Gibson-Watt

The hon. Gentleman has raised a point of which I was not aware. I should like to consider the matter.