HC Deb 14 April 1976 vol 909 cc593-5W
Mr. Marten

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the average time a patient suffering from spina bifida has to wait for calipers; and if he will make a statement on plans for improving the supply and repair of calipers.

Mr. Alfred Morris,

pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 7th April 1976; is subject to the same rule as the personal retirement pension; while other increases depend on earnings not exceeding the amount of the increase. The earnings taken into account are in each case net earnings. The table below sets out the present position, but does not, of course, give the provisions in detail; and it does not refer to the various means-tested benefits, entitlement to which depends on income, including earnings.

Earnings figures are reviewed from time to time in the light of all the circumstances, including the significance and particular context of the figure in question, and in the light of wider priorities. My hon. Friend will be aware of the decisions which we have already announced about the figure for the retirement pensions earnings rule; the part-time earnings disregard under the supplementary benefits scheme for one-parent families; and the therapeutic earnings limit for the incapacity benefits.

Vol. 909, c. 1845], circulated the following information:

Calipers are ordered at a large number of hospitals from different commercial firms and hospital workshops. It is difficult, therefore, to give a meaningful reply. The waiting time can vary between less than one week and about three months. In a typical case it is about five-six weeks. Supply arrangements are kept under review.

I shall be glad to make inquiries into any case of difficulty if the hon. Member will let me have full details.