HC Deb 19 July 1979 vol 970 cc1965-6
1. Mr. Arthur Davidson

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations he has received from registered disabled drivers about the increase in value added tax on petrol and other motoring costs.

The Minister of State, Treasury (Mr. Peter Rees)

We have received a number of representations, mainly about the supply of cars to disabled persons through the Motability organisation. As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Services announced on 26 June, we are taking steps to relieve these difficulties.

Mr. Davidson

Will the Minister accept that the increase in the minimum lending rate and the increase in VAT have had a particularly hard and damaging effect upon disabled drivers and, indeed, those who drive the disabled? Will he say what further plans he has to give assistance to this deserving group of people, who are undoubtedly going through a difficult period?

Mr. Rees

I recognise the difficulties to which the hon. and learned Gentleman has drawn attention, but the adequacy of allowances for the disabled is a ques-for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Services.

Mr. Hannam

Will my hon. and learned Friend accept the thanks of all those concerned with the Motability leasing scheme for the relief from VAT which has been afforded for the purchase of cars under that scheme? But will he consider, before next year's Budget, applying the same relief to cars supplied under the Motability hire-purchase scheme, which is now being introduced?

Mr. Rees

I have taken note of what my hon. Friend has said. There is no blocking order applying to inputs relating to hire purchase.

Mr. Alfred Morris

Will the hon. and learned Gentleman accept that the measures taken by the Government, coupled with the huge additional increase in the price of petrol, have had a serious effect upon large numbers of disabled people? Will his right hon. Friend take an early opportunity to meet representatives of disabled drivers and disabled passengers to discuss their problems with them?

Mr. Rees

That again is a question for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Services. I am sure that he will have taken note of what the right hon. Gentleman has said.

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