HC Deb 24 July 1979 vol 971 cc338-9
11. Mr. Hal Miller

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what representations he has received from parents of autistic children.

Sir George Young

One, Sir, and a paper from the National Society for Autistic Children. I hope to meet the society in the near future to discuss its paper about services for autistic people.

Mr. Miller

Is my hon. Friend aware of the distress caused to many parents of autistic children in that they are unable to leave any money in their wills or by other means to buy them a few creature comforts while they are in residential care after the death of their parents? Will he look into the possibility of exempting up to a certain small sum these would-be bequests from being paid into the kitty of the residential home?

Sir G. Young

I understand the problems that my hon. Friend describes, and I shall be happy to raise the matter with my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Mr. Edwin Wainwright

Will the Minister take into account that there are many disadvantaged persons in this country whose parents are going through quite a deal of trouble, trial and tribulation in an effort to provide for their children's future, but will he take into account also the position of grandparents who take over the responsibility of looking after their grandchildren when the mother has passed away and the father is not there to take on the responsibility? They receive no allowance if they do not have to be on social security benefit or supplementary benefit.

Sir G. Young

I do not think that that arises directly out of the original question—

Mr. Wainwright

It is a good question.

Sir G. Young

—but I shall be happy to look into the issues that the hon. Gentleman raises.

Forward to