HC Deb 12 March 1996 vol 273 cc767-8
1. Mr. Turner

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations he has received on how the changes to the disability living allowance regulations have affected current NHS patients. [18384]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health (Mr. John Bowis)

None. I have received copies of three letters to the Department of Social Security.

Mr. Turner

Does the Minister agree that reducing or abolishing mobility payments will have an adverse effect on the lives of disabled people everywhere?

Mr. Bowis

The hon. Gentleman is not one of the three people who have written to me about that subject. I am not surprised because, as an experienced Member of Parliament, he will know that it is entirely a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Security.

Mr. Tom Clarke

This is an important matter for 6.5 million disabled people. Do the Government accept that getting the issue right, in co-operation with the Disablement Income Group, will affect those who suffer from spinal cord injuries, for example? They are not supported by the national health service trusts, which have let them down by not making available the kind of services that they need. Why should disabled people pay for the Government's incompetence and insensitivity?

Mr. Bowis

The question on the Order Paper is not a matter for the Department of Health. The hon. Gentleman has raised issues that relate to my Department, which will play a full part in looking after the interests of disabled people, as he well knows. We have legislation on direct payments before Parliament and—as the hon. Gentleman might have had the grace and courtesy to remind the House and the public—only a few days ago we announced the introduction of the new powered indoor-outdoor wheelchair service for severely disabled people.

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