HC Deb 03 July 1989 vol 156 cc7-8
6. Mr. Thurnham

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what representations he has received about the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys' surveys on disability; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Scott

Organisations of and for disabled people are already commenting on the published findings of the OPCS surveys of disability. We welcome these comments, which contribute to the process of reviewing disability benefits in the light of the final data.

Mr. Thurnham

Having extended the availability of the mobility allowance from 75 to 80-year-olds, will my right hon. Friend now use the OPCS surveys as a basis for a thorough review of disability benefits, and will he consult fully the relevant disability organisations?

Mr. Scott

I am anxious to announce—when we have the final data —a timetable for further action and consultation will balance the need to listen carefully to the views of organisations of and for disabled people with no undue delay in the necessary action.

Mrs. Beckett

The whole House will welcome the fact that, even before all the reviews have been published, the Government have accepted the case for restoring to the terminally ill some of the payment for attendance that they lost during the latest social security cuts. Will he reconsider the refusal to put even an enabling clause into this year's Social Security Bill, as, by definition, most of those who fail now to meet the six-month qualifying period are likely to be dead before the change in the law takes place?

Mr. Scott

We must wait until we have the final results of the survey. As I have said, that—along with the matter raised by the hon. Member for Islington, North (Mr. Corbyn)—is something that we were prepared to consider on a faster track than other matters. I think that I must let it rest there for the time being.

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